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News-Times Whidbey


Celebrating Women in Business

Pages A4 and A10-A12

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013 | Vol. 114, No. 83 | | 75¢

Wife killer sentenced to 52 years in prison By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

It’s a memory that Suzie Bartlett wishes would just fade away. A moment in her life she wishes could be erased. But the scene was so traumatic, she doubts she’ll ever be able to forget it. Bartlett was upstairs in her Anacortes apartment changing clothes after work when she heard the scream from below. She knew it was her son Joey, and as a mother of two boys, was familiar with screams, but this was unlike any other.

Judge Alan Hancock ensured that 63-yearold Robert “Al” Baker will die in prison for the brutal murder of his wife at their Greenbank home last June. Tuesday morning, the Island County Superior Court judge sentenced the Antarctic scientist and pizzeria owner to 52 years in prison, which was the sentence recommendation from Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme. Baker was stonefaced throughout Kathie Baker the dramatic hearing in which he was called a “monster” over and over again. Baker took the stand in his own defense last week and claimed he didn’t know how his wife, Kathie, was bludgeoned and strangled in their bed, dragged through the house, wrapped in tarps and thrown in their backyard. The jury didn’t buy it and found him guilty Monday afternoon of murder in the first

See Burn camp, A14


Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Suzie Bartlett of Oak Harbor says her son Joey, who turns 12 Saturday, has blossomed from his experiences at a camp for young burn victims known as Camp Eyabsut. She was so impressed that she started her own business selling pre-made cookie mixes to raise money for the camp.

Burn camp helps healing

By RON NEWBERRY Staff reporter

Granddads vying for pivotal seat on Oak Harbor City Council By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

On paper, the two men running for Position No. 6 on the Oak Harbor City Council are very similar. Incumbent Councilman Jim Campbell and challenger Skip Pohtilla both had high-level careers involving the Navy. Both are proud

grandfathers who chose to live in Oak Harbor after living overseas. Both men pride themselves on being independent thinkers and chafe at the idea that they’re on one side or the other of the mayorcouncil divide. Yet they have significant differences in both style and substance.

Campbell set himself apart from the rest of the council on some controversial issues and branded himself as the “lone voice of reason” on the City Council. He doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind or ask questions. “I don’t belong to anyone,” he said. “I work for the citizens, not any special interest.” Pohtilla is all about being positive. He said



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he refuses to run a negative campaign and won’t say anything critical about his challenger. The closest he comes to criticizing any city leader is saying he hopes that Mayor Scott Dudley isn’t twisting the facts when he campaigns for Campbell and the other council candidates he supports; some people have

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Whidbey News-Times, October 16, 2013  

October 16, 2013 edition of the Whidbey News-Times

Whidbey News-Times, October 16, 2013  

October 16, 2013 edition of the Whidbey News-Times