Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

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Normal Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by Nama on Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:31 am

The mother and babysitter of a baby reported missing on Halloween last year in Chipley are tentatively set for trial in May.
Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer were charged Nov. 5, 2009, in connection with the disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick. The baby’s disappearance sparked a multi-agency search in the Chipley area.
Mercer reported the baby missing from the bedroom of their mobile home in Chipley. Shannon was missing four days before being found inside a cedar chest at the home of Baker, the infant’s baby sitter.
Police believe Mercer — the baby’s mother — agreed to hand over Shannon to Baker on the night of Oct. 30, and that the two then conspired to concoct a story about the baby’s disappearance. Mercer called 911 on Halloween morning and reported her baby missing.
“Yes, my little girl ... I woke up this morning and my six-month-old daughter is .. ugh .. my seven-month-old daughter is missing. My front door, it looks like it’s been jimmied open today,” Mercer said while speaking to the 911 dispatcher.
The preliminary investigation led officers to be suspicious of Mercer and Baker almost immediately.
“Upon my arrival Ms. Mercer was sitting on a rock outside the residence smoking a cigarette. She was not in an emotional state and simply stated to me she could not find her baby,” officer John Douglas Standland wrote in his initial incident report after driving to the scene of the disappearance on Saturday, Oct. 31, on Brown Street in Chipley.
Baker and Mercer were charged with several felonies and misdemeanors, including interfering with child custody, false report of a crime, false report of a missing child and contributing to the delinquency of a child.
Mercer was also charged with child desertion. Baker also was charged with neglect of a child with aggravating circumstances.
A pre-trial hearing is set for both defendants May 3 in Washington County, with the trial set for May 4.

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Normal Shannon

Post by Nama on Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:34 am


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Normal Re: Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:53 pm

She looks malnourished. I am just grateful she was found alive.

Both these women are crazy!

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Normal New theory

Post by Nama on Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:50 pm

There’s a new theory materializing in the case against Susan Baker: kidnapping.



More than four months after searchers found 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick hidden in Baker’s home, locked in a small cedar box and shoved under a bed, the prosecutor seeking her conviction is investigating a theory apart from the one law enforcement presented. Maybe Baker didn’t arrange a swap for the baby as charged; maybe she just stole her.

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Normal Baker's long-missing stepson won't factor in trial

Post by Nama on Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:10 pm

Susan Baker’s missing stepson Paul — presumed dead by his family 23 years after he vanished — won’t come up in the Baby Shannon trial, the prosecutor in the case has decided.

Assistant State Attorney Greg Wilson doesn’t need the distraction, he said Friday.

“Simply put, the case against Baker is putting the child in the box under the bed and leaving her there,” he said. “It’s as straightforward as that.”

Baker, a prime suspect in 3-year-old Paul’s disappearance from the family’s home in Beaufort, S.C., never was charged in his case. She was, however, convicted of aggravated child abuse for beating his 6-year-old sister, Nina, who still lives in South Carolina.

Baker served 80 days of a 10-year sentence before she was released and moved to Chipley.

Paul’s cold case re-emerged when authorities found 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick hidden in a box in Baker’s home.

They also found “a stack of papers containing the name of Baker’s missing child from 1987,” according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report filed at the state attorney’s office in Chipley, suggesting Paul’s disappearance was still on Baker’s mind in late 2009.

On Nov. 3 (day four of the search for the missing baby Shannon), Baker told her husband “that she thought things were about to get rough and that if he did not want to stay around, she understood,” according to an interview James Baker gave authorities.

“Mr. Baker claimed that he had no idea that Mrs. Baker was referring to being involved in Shannon’s disappearance,” the interviewing officer wrote. “Mr. Baker thought Mrs. Baker was possibly concerned that something was going to surface/resurface reference the disappearance of Paul Baker.”

In conclusion, the officer wrote: “It should be noted that one could surmise from Mr. Baker’s information that Ms. Baker was possibly somehow involved in the disappearance of Paul.”

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Normal Susan Baker Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!/ sentencing for Nov. 8

Post by Nama on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:26 am

Saturday October 2nd

The six member jury hearing the case of the State of Florida versus Susan Elizabeth Baker returned three guilty as charged verdicts after deliberating.

She was found guilty on felony charges of aggravated child abuse and interfering the parental custody; and also found guilty of giving false information to a law enforcement officer.

In his closing arguments Greg Wilson, Chief Assistant State Attorney's in the Chipley office, said Susan Baker had everyone fooled. He said that Baker had manipulated law enforcement officers, family members and friends.

He described the hunt for 7-month old Shannon Dedrick, which took place from Oct. 31st to Nov. 4th of 2009, as the largest search in the history of Washington County and said all the while law enforcement officers were looking for the baby Susan Baker knew where she was.

Susan Baker had contended she had been worried about the safety of Shannon Dedrick and was concerned when she felt no one intervene on behalf of the child. She said she did what was necessary to get the baby out of the Dedrick/Mercer residence.

Wilson didn't dispute the poor living conditions at the Dedrick/Mercer home, but added he didn't see an emergency situation had arisen the night the baby went missing.

According to Wilson, when DCF went to the Dedrick/Mercer household in August 2009 after being contacted by Baker they found no safety hazards and closed the case.

Wilson said according to the Doctor Hatcher who had cared for Shannon since her birth, the baby was born weighing just over four pounds and was now growing and meeting milestones. Previously Dr. Lesa Bailey had testified that the infant faced the 'failure to thrive' guidelines at the time she saw Shannon shortly after her recovery.

During the week long trial Susan Baker had testified that she and Tina Mercer had come to an agreement that Baker would be allowed to raise the baby, but it was up to Mercer to tell the baby's father Rusty Dedrick.

Baker met Mercer at the end of the driveway on Brown Street and the infant to turned over to her in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 2009. From that point until Nov. 4th, when the baby was recovered from a wooden box under a bed in the Baker home, Shannon apparently spent most of her time in the box. Officers said when Shannon was recovered from under the bed her diaper was "overflowing" and she had an "angry" diaper rash.

Judge Allen Register has set sentencing for Nov. 8 at 8:30 a.m. Baker faces up to 30 years for the aggravated child abuse charge.

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Normal Re: Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by Nama on Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:30 am

Tina Mercer took the stand in the trial against Susan Baker while the jury waited outside.

Mercer exercised her Fifth Amendment rights.

Mercer’s next court date is scheduled for Nov. 15.

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Normal Baby Shannon's mother pleads no contest to misdemeanor, released

Post by Nama on Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:21 am

The case that made national headlines last year when “Baby Shannon” went missing came to a quiet end Friday for the baby’s mother, as she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail.

Judge Colby Peel imposed the maximum sentence of 364 days in jail for Crystina Mercer for providing false information to law enforcement; she was given credit for time served and released after spending much of the last year in jail.

“With her gain time, she technically would’ve been out earlier,” Assistant State Attorney Greg Wilson said. Gain time is time taken off a sentence for good behavior.

Two felony charges against Mercer were dropped. She had been charged with interference with custody and making a false 911 call.

Shannon Dedrick disappeared from her home Oct. 31, 2009. The ensuing five-day search for Baby Shannon was the largest operation in the history of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, involving nearly every law enforcement agency in the Panhandle. The child was located Nov. 4 in a latched wooden box under the bed of her baby sitter, Susan Baker.

Baker was convicted Oct. 1 after a weeklong trial on charges of aggravated child abuse, interference with custody and providing false information to law enforcement. Baker claimed she and Mercer had an agreement to give the then-7-month-old child to Baker permanently.

But at trial, the state took the position that Baker broke into Mercer’s home in the middle of the night and took Baby Shannon. There was never any evidence to support Baker’s version of events, Wilson said.

“With that position and the evidence we presented, all indicated that Crystina Mercer never had an agreement with Susan Baker,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he had a long debate with investigators about which theory to pursue at trial, and eventually decided the conspiracy theory didn’t hold water, though he believes he could have convicted Baker either way.

“The bottom line is, not one shred of independent evidence supported Baker’s story,” Wilson said.

Mercer’s defense attorney, Floyd Griffith, wasn’t surprised by the result.

“This whole concept of Mercer giving Baker the baby — that all came out of Baker’s mouth,” Griffith said.

Because the state maintains Baker stole the baby, Mercer’s 911 call was legitimate, authorities said. Since Baker stole the baby, Mercer didn’t interfere with custody. “So the only thing she’s guilty of is lying to an officer,” Wilson said.

Mercer’s boyfriend, Rusty Dedrick, woke up Oct. 31 and discovered Shannon was missing. He told Mercer to call 911, which she did, but when officers arrived, Mercer was acting strangely, according to testimony from several officers at Baker’s trial. Mercer, who has mental health problems, didn’t seem concerned her baby was missing, and she made several bizarre statements that led officers to believe she had killed Shannon.

She walked around their home and told officer’s she might have left the baby in a mailbox, for instance, or that she might have buried Shannon under a pile of leaves. Those statements delayed officers’ discovery of Shannon, as Baker wasn’t considered a suspect until the child was found.

Baker took the stand at her trial and said she did what she had to do to protect Shannon from her parents, who she claimed were abusive and neglectful. A sentencing hearing for Baker is scheduled for Nov. 8 in Washington County.

Shannon Dedrick is now in Texas with a relative, according to Courtney Peel, Circuit 14 operations manager for the Department of Children and Families. Rusty Dedrick surrendered his parental rights and Mercer has been ordered to have no contact with her daughter, Peel said.

To regain custody of her daughter, Mercer would have to go before a judge and prove she’s able to care for Baby Shannon, Peel said.

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Normal Re: Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:23 am

To regain custody of her daughter, Mercer would have to go before a judge and prove she’s able to care for Baby Shannon, Peel said.
angry She would never get her daughter back if it was up to me.
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Normal Re: Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by lisette on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:24 pm

In looking back, I realized that we never posted the sentence imposed on Susan Baker. Here it is:

Nov 16, 2010

Baker Trial - Sentencing

The main suspect in the Baby Shannon kidnapping in Chipley, Florida will be going away for a long time. Judge Allen Register handed out the harsh punishment, despite pleas of leniency from Susan Baker's relatives.

"How bizarre and how cruel." Those words summarize Circuit Judge Allen Register's opinion of Susan Baker's actions.

The 52-year-old woman stood quietly and listened as family members and attorneys pleaded on her behalf.

"Please show mercy on my sister, I understand my sister messed up, she messed up bad. The whole family don't understand how my sister's facing 35 and the mother that said she buried my niece is walking free with my niece in Texas."Is this possibly true?!

"Even though she went about it the wrong way, her biggest intention was to get Shannon out of a bad situation."

"Should the court sentence her to the maximum under the law in the Department of Corrections, obviously that would be the equivalent of a death sentence."

However, Assistant State Attorney Greg Wilson said Baker deserved the maximum penalty, given her previous involvement with her stepson's disappearance in South Carolina and her lack of remorse during the Baby Shannon trial.

"At no time did she indicate she was sorry for the actions she had taken and she was very self-righteous about ‘she did what she had to do' and she was satisfied with that."

Wilson estimates Baby Shannon spent nearly 36-hours inside of a 2-by-3-foot wooden box while authorities questioned Baker about her involvement. He asked judge register to impose 1-year for each hour the little girl was in that box, shoved under a bed in Baker's home.

"This is one of the most bizarre set of events I have ever encountered."

Judge register then told baker the facts and testimony clearly showed that she never had any intention of revealing Baby Shannon's location.

"No reasonable person could agree that this justified you taking matters into your own hands, I must admit as of today, I still do not know what you intended to do with this child."

He then sentenced her to 25-years in prison with credit for already serving 375 days in the Washington County jail.

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Normal Re: Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by lisette on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:38 pm

At least some justice was found for little Paul and Nina. This monster (Baker) killed him, I'm sure.

Paul Leonard Baker, Shannon Dedrick Missing Child Cases: Nightmare Babysitter Link

It's a story made for Hollywood, the babysitter who breaks up a marriage, beats up one of the children, and is linked to the vanishing of two others- but unfortunately, this story is not fiction. Three year old Paul Leonard Baker disappeared from Beaufort, South Carolina March 5, 1987. The woman now known as Susan Elizabeth Baker was Paul Leonard Baker's babysitter and, according to the Charley Project, she was having an affair with Paul's father James Baker. Paul's mother Linda Solozano moved out of the Baker-Solozano home due to the affair, taking Paul and his sister Nina with her, but when the divorce was finalized, James Baker assumed custody of Paul Leonard Baker and Nina Baker.
Paul Leonard Baker Disappeared on Susan Elizabeth Baker's Watch

James Baker and Susan Elizabeth Baker were subsequently married and bought a home in Beaufort. Susan Elizabeth Baker was the last person to see Paul Leonard Baker, telling police she put him down for a nap March 5, 1987 and he was gone when she returned later to check on him.

Susan Elizabeth Baker Convicted of Abusing Paul Leonard Baker's Sister Nina

The Charley project notes that authorities removed Paul Leonard Baker's sister Nina from the Baker home after Paul's disappearance; the little girl had broken bones and sores covering her body. Susan Baker was convicted of abusing little Nina and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Baker's sentence was subsequently reduced to time served.

Susan Elizabeth and James Baker moved to Florida but were extradited in 2000 when authorities re-opened the Paul Leonard Baker case. No indictment against Susan Elizabeth Baker issued in the Paul Leonard Baker investigation. Paul Leonard Baker has never been found.

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Normal Re: Susan Elizabeth Baker and Crystina Lynn Mercer charged in disappearance of seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick/ Susan Baker Guilty!/ Mother Crystina Mercer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was released from jail

Post by lisette on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:45 pm

I tried to find info about where little Shannon wound up, but this is the most recent article I could find about her custody.

Nov 11, 2009

Custody Battle Starts Over Shannon Dedrick

A legal battle is now underway over the custody of 7-month old Shannon Dedrick.
The child was the center of an intense five day search last week, until she was discovered in a wooden box, stuffed under the bed at her babysitter's house.
The baby has been in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services since then.
Today Circuit Judge Allen Register ruled to keep that arrangement in-place, but Shannon's father, Rusty, is fighting to get his daughter back.

The story of 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick captured the nation's attention last week.
While her safe rescue was a happy event, the story does not yet have a happy ending.
A custody battle is now underway.
"My little girl is the sweetest thing that ever walked, well crawled right now. I love her to death and I'll do anything for her."
Father Rusty Dedrick says Shannon's arrival earlier this year was a surprise.
But he couldn't wait for her to arrive.
"I got all giddy, excited, I was gonna be a dad for the first time."
He says he quickly became attached to the baby, and it's been difficult for him not to see her everyday.
That's why he's fighting for custody.
"She's my little blessing."
Dedrick is fighting Kandis Boyer for custody.
Boyer is Shannon's grandmother.
Her daughter, Crystina Mercer is Shannon's mother.
Mercer is facing charges for allegedly lying to police.
She reported Shannon missing on Halloween morning, but police say she gave the baby to babysitter Susan Baker.
Baker is also facing charges.
Boyer did not return our calls for an interview.
During a Tuesday morning hearing, Rusty 'consented to dependency', agreeing to follow a Department of Children and Family case plan.
Dedrick's sister, Rebecca Padgett, says he has a tough battle, trying to get his life on track.
"It's just starting for us I believe, knowing she was safe and everything but now just him having to fight so hard to get her back, it's just gonna be a really drug-out, long ordeal."
Even though Padgett would like for her brother to win custody, she says she just wants what's best for little Shannon.
"I hope she ends up with her dad but if not, you know just so she's safe."

Crystina Mercer did not consent to dependency at this morning's hearing.
She is scheduled to appear for trial on December 15.
NewsChannel 7 did get in touch with Kandis Boyer late this afternoon.
She says she still stands behind her daughter but acknowledges Christina does need help.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:47 am

I wish the media would let the public know the outcome in many of these horrible cases!!

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