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Suspect Denies Slashing Throat Of Mother & Child

Published: Mar. 4, 2004 at 9:19 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2004 at 12:10 PM CST
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Fredrick Baer
Fredrick Baer
Letter from Rodney Cummings, Madison County Prosecutor
Letter from Rodney Cummings, Madison County Prosecutor

Reporter: Chad Sewich

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

A week ago, in Madison County just northeast of Indianapolis, a 26-year-old mother and her four-year-old daughter were murdered. They were attacked from behind, their throats slashed.

The prime suspect - Fredrick Baer. A man with a lengthy criminal record that stretches from Knox County to Marion to Hamilton to Madison.

In an interview with NBC affiliate WTHR, Baer admits he was in the neighborhood that day, that he was high on marijuana and meth but says he didn't do it.

"Am I a cold sadistic murderer? Would I cut a girl's throat, a five-year-old girl? No," claims Baer, "Did I kill anyone? No. I'm just a regular person. I didn't kill anyone."

Prosecutors disagree.

In Marion County, Baer is being charged with two brutal rapes. In Hamilton County, he's accused of rape, and burglary, and more charges are expected there.

With new charges mounting daily, Baer faces hundreds of years in prison with the death penalty looming.

And the Madison County prosecutor is apparently livid. He's questioning why Knox County Prosecutor, John Sievers, didn't put Baer behind bars two-years ago, on an habitual criminal charge.

We stopped by John Sievers' office for a comment, but his assistant said he was in court all day, and he did not return our phone calls.

Rodney Cummings, Prosecutor for Madison County, where the mother and daughter were killed, is also trying to reach Sievers.

In fact, Cummings wrote a letter to Sievers, essentially asking why Frederick Baer wasn't given a longer sentence for his crimes. Here's part of that letter:

"It appears Baer was habitual eligible and possibly could have been charged with escape. I would appreciate information you could provide to help me explain why Baer was not incarcerated longer than 18 months."

Habitual eligible is an Indiana law that would have given Baer a longer sentence for committing several crimes.

Here's why Cummings is questioning Baer's sentencing: In Knox County alone, in 2001 and 2002, Baer was charged with drug trafficing and possession, probation violations, numerous thefts, robbery, possession of stolen property, resisting law enforcement, escape and battery.

But, Vincennes Police Chief Bob Dunham, says there are a lot of factors that play into a sentencing a criminal.

Dunham says, "I think he probably falls within the standards of what happens in most court systems. Everybody knows that the prisons are overcrowded and when we dealt with this individual, they were not necessarily violent crimes. He did resist law enforcement, but it wasn't a violent situation per-say."
Authorities say Baer, who is originally from Indianapolis, lived in Bicknell for a short time and quickly made a name for himself in the area.