Jailhouse conversation implicates man accused of shooting sheriff’s deputy
OKLAHOMA CITY – A jailhouse conversation comes back to haunt an accused armed robber.
Testimony continued in the trial of Chris Baker.
Baker is charged with shooting Oklahoma County sheriffs deputy John Waldenville during a robbery outside Cattleman’s steakhouse last year.
One of the men accused of paralyzing an Oklahoma City police officer worked with prosecutors to serve as a jailhouse snitch.
That man claims he heard Baker confessing to the robbery and shooting during their time together at the county jail.
Joshua Rinken pleaded guilty to attacking Chad Peery during a bar fight last year.
Peery remains in a wheelchair to this day.
As a part of a deal with prosecutors, Rinken agreed to serve 10 years in prison and to testify against Baker.
Coincidently, Baker and Rinken were housed in adjacent cells at the county jail.
Rinken told the jury that Baker bragged about details of the shooting, explaining how Baker admitted, “He went to grab the money bags and got into a scuffle.”
After Waldenville went for his weapon, Rinken claims Baker said, “I had to shoot him. If I didn’t, I’d be a memory today.”
During Rinken’s testimony bailiffs blocked the courtroom windows with paper and then escorted Rinken down a back stairway away from the cameras.
The defense attempted to cast doubt on Rinken’s testimony arguing Rinken would say anything in court to get released early in his case.
Attacking a witnesses credibility is a common tactic according to one legal expert.
“A witness who takes the stand as part of a deal for leniency, that testimony should always be suspect,” said attorney Jacquit Ford.
Peery’s father watched Rinken testify and said he hopes the allegations lead to Baker’s conviction and justice for major Waldenville.
The second accused thief, Keonta Prince, has previously told prosecutors that Baker shot Waldenville.
Prince will not testify during this trial.
Prosecutors hope to wrap up their case by Friday.