A man who savagely beat his caregiver to death and shared the video on social media was sentenced Thursday to 48 years in prison.
The judge noted the “tremendously aggravated nature of this crime” in imposing the maximum sentence permitted under the plea agreement.
“Heinous crimes like this make us question the society in which we live. How can a good people produce someone capable of such villainy?” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “We must be protected from a person who viciously preys upon someone who only can be blamed for caring for them — and then shares it via social media. This is why we build prisons.”
On June 4, 2017, neighbors called 911 to report a lengthy, violent attack in the apartment next door. Baker lived there with Harsono, who was his host home provider.
Arriving Arapahoe County deputies found Harsono bleeding profusely on the floor, a scene of chaos and destruction around him. An entertainment center and coffee table were overturned and a bedroom door was broken. Water and cooking oil were spilled, and blood splatters were on walls and the floor.
Harsono was taken to the hospital but ultimately died of his injuries.
The neighbor told deputies he had seen the other occupant leaving the apartment in Harsono’s van.
Aurora police found Baker in the van early the next morning, parked on a residential street. Baker was covered in dried blood.
Meanwhile, a Colorado Springs man called 911 to report he saw his acquaintance Baker on a video beating another man with chairs and a frying pan. Later interviews with the man revealed Baker had contacted the man via Facebook Messenger video chat. Phone records indicated the video lasted 13 minutes.
“This was a particularly brutal and heinous crime,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrew Steers told the court during his sentencing argument on Dec. 5. “Mr. Harsono was beaten with everything in that room. And the man who received the video told investigators Baker laughed as he did it. This was an intentional act.”
Steers tried the case with Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Eckhardt.
“Mr. Harsono fled religious persecution in Indonesia and was making a new life here,” Eckhardt said. “He chose a life of service, and he did nothing but try to help the defendant. Instead of gratitude, he received a brutal beating. His daughters’ last moments with their father are painful memories.
“The maximum sentence might not help them heal, but it is the appropriate resolution for this horrific crime.”
Baker pleaded guilty Aug. 29, 2019, to one count of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated robbery. Additional charges against him were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Charges are still pending against the man alleged to be his accomplice.