A 40-year-old Kalispell man admitted to stealing a power drill from a store before running over an employee who was trying to write down his license plate number.
Martin Gregory Baker pleaded guilty to felony robbery and misdemeanor bail jumping on May 18 in Flathead County District Court. Baker will be sentenced on July 6.
According to law enforcement and charging documents, the Kalispell Police Department received a shoplifting complaint on the 2000 block of U.S. Highway 93 south of downtown on Oct. 30, 2016 shortly after 2:40 p.m. Witnesses said Baker came into the store and tried to walk out with a portable drill and charger, but as he left he set off the shoplifting alarm. Store employees followed Baker out of the store.
While Baker tried to flee, he allegedly backed his vehicle over a store employee who was trying to take down his license plate number, according to court records. The woman received non-life-threatening injuries to her legs and was taken to the hospital. Other store employees were able to stop the vehicle, grab Baker and hold him down until police arrived.
Baker pleaded not guilty to felony robbery in late 2016 and was expected to stand trial this year but failed to appear at a hearing in April. Baker was charged with bail jumping and a warrant for his arrest was signed.
Baker was arrested and scheduled for an arraignment before Judge Heidi Ulbricht on May 18. At that hearing, Baker’s attorney, Jessica Polan, announced a plea agreement where the defendant would plead guilty to felony robbery and an amended charge of misdemeanor bail jumping. Prosecutors are expected to recommend a five-year sentence to the state Department of Corrections with placement in a drug treatment program for the offense of robbery and six months in the county jail for bail jumping.