Trial of third suspect pushed back to February
Two of three accused robbers in the violent home invasion of a Lake Oswego baron last year received reduced sentences in Clackamas County Circuit Court this week, while the trial of the third suspect, who faces murder charges in a separate case, is on hold until February.
Spensir Lee Mourey, 26, and Toni Jean Baker, 35, landed shorter sentences in exchange for their cooperation in the case. Attorneys are now preparing for the trial of the third suspect, David Ray Taylor, 57, a convicted killer also facing murder charges in Lane County. It is unclear how the three are connected.
Taylor was incarcerated for almost three decades for killing a Eugene gas station attendant in the 1970s. He is now also accused in the slaying of a 22-year-old Eugene man who disappeared in August 2012 not long before Taylor, Baker and Mourey were arrested in connection with the local robbery, which had taken place several months before.
The case made headlines at the time not only because violent home invasions are rare in Lake Oswego but also because of the identity of the primary victim: George von Bothmer, better known in some circles as the Baron, or Freiherr George von Bothmer zu Schwegerhoff.
He didnt always have that title. To some, the baron is known more simply as George Criser Davis, and a former teachers aide at Marshall High School in Portland until he was adopted at age 41 by his then-elderly aunt, Baroness Helene von Bothmer zu Schwegerhoff, who had married into German aristocracy. When the baroness died, George von Bothmer was reportedly her heir.
On April 6, 2012, two men posing as U.S. Marshals shouldered their way into von Bothmers home on Indian Creek Way, tied him up and robbed him, his teenage daughter and her boyfriend, who were also at home at the time. One of the men smashed von Bothmer in the face with a handgun, breaking his nose, and at some point a gun was fired, sending a bullet through a wall.
The victim is still fearful for his life, prosecutor Bryan Brock of the Clackamas County Districts Attorneys Office said Tuesday. Von Bothmer wasnt in court and previously declined to comment on the case.
Brock said Mourey and Taylor believed there was a significant amount of money in a safe, and Baker had conducted reconnaissance of the victims home, driving through the neighborhood in advance so their vehicles wouldnt look out of place the day of the robbery, and figuring out when von Bothmer was typically home and when his wife usually left for work.
The plan was for the men to meet Baker in Wilsonville so they could give her any stolen property; Baker would then deliver it to Eugene. Her anticipated cut was about $500.
Moureys sentence of 90 months was based on a charge of first-degree robbery. Additional charges against him are pending until after Taylors trial.
He had no prior criminal history and expressed remorse when he spoke briefly in court on Monday.
On the other hand, Bakers criminal career began in 1999, when she was convicted of conspiring to commit murder and first-degree assault, Brock said. In that case, convinced a friend was sleeping with her boyfriend, she allegedly worked with someone else to lure the friend up to Mount Scott and attempted to kill the other woman. Baker purchased a poncho, Brock said, to keep blood from getting on her clothes, and they beat her and stabbed her to within an inch of her life.
Baker reportedly gave in to the victims pleas for her life and took her to the hospital with multiple stab wounds, leading to a police investigation and the eventual conviction, Brock said.
She was also convicted in 2007 of hindering prosecution, later of giving false information to a police officer and then of fourth-degree assault in June 2012. In that last case, attorneys said, she physically confronted another woman about having an affair with her husband at their house in Milwaukie, and the victim ended up in the hospital.
Baker declined to speak on her own behalf Tuesday. Her attorney, Eric Hanson, said his client didnt understand the risks of working as a driver in the Lake Oswego robbery.
I dont think she really understood exactly the jeopardy she put herself in, Hanson said.
She agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to commit burglary and robbery and an assault charge in Clackamas County. Combined with an expected 12-month sentence in Washington County, where she is now being charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm following a traffic stop, Baker is expected to serve 110 months in prison. Some of that time could include alternative supervision programs, as she hopes to receive drug abuse treatment while incarcerated, attorneys said.
Clackamas County Circuit Judge Katherine E. Weber said she was hesitant but ultimately agreed to the plea deal.
Addressing Baker, Weber said, You are one of the most, if not the most, dangerous women that Ive ever had appear before me. I dont believe for a second you didnt fully understand what you were doing in this case. I dont believe for a second you didnt fully understand what you were doing in the assault in the fourth degree case, or in the previous conspiracy to commit murder.
Im going to hesitatingly follow the recommendation ... because I want you to be motivated to deal with all of the issues that led you to this kind of place, she said. I want you to be motivated to deal with the drug addiction ... to deal with the anger issues that are obvious to me. And I want for you to be motivated to make every day that you spend in prison count.
This needs to be the end of this behavior. This needs to be the end of this life, and when you walk out of the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, you need to be prepared to live as a positive, productive member of our society. If you are ever back in this courtroom again, Im not going to follow a recommendation like this, and youll be looking at something far more serious.