A Whitefish man is facing a new felony charge for criminal drug possession after methamphetamine was discovered in his backpack shortly after he was booked in the Flathead County Detention Center for violating his conditions of release from separate kidnapping and assault charges stemming from last year.
Dylan Thomas Baker, 48, at a Dec. 15 hearing pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs before Judge Amy Eddy in Flathead County District Court.
According to an affidavit filed on Nov. 29, Baker was charged after a woman turned in his backpack “that she felt uncomfortable possessing” to the Whitefish Police Department, according to charging documents. Items in the backpack included methamphetamine, court papers, licenses, IDs, and a passport that all belonged to Baker.
Separately, Baker has been jailed at the Flathead County Detention Center since Oct. 28 for violating the conditions of release set prior to his previous release by failing to replace his GPS monitoring device.
Judge Eddy at a Dec. 1 hearing denied a request for a bail reduction from $250,000. One year ago, Baker pleaded not guilty to felony counts of kidnapping, strangulation of a partner or family member, and assault with a weapon. He posted a $100,000 bond following his arrest and was released from jail in late 2021.
Prior to Baker’s initial arrest last December, the Whitefish Police Department responded to a report of a “highly distraught” woman who appeared at a residence on Monegan Road and was afraid the defendant was looking for her.
Officers arrived to find the woman with bruises on her face, duct tape sticking to her hair and wrists, she was missing her pants and shoes, and she was bleeding from her knees and feet.
Court records state the woman told officers she’d recently broken off a relationship with Baker and was moving out of his house when Baker “went nuts.” He began striking her until she lost consciousness before taking her to the basement and binding her face, head, hands, feet and legs together with duct tape. Baker allegedly said “she was going to die.” When he left the room – likely to get more supplies – she wriggled out of her boots and pants, escaped the basement and ran to the nearest neighbor’s house, according to court records.
Officers located Baker, who told them he had been home all night and had no knowledge of the report. After searching the residence, records state law enforcement found duct tape matching the tape found on the woman as well as what appeared to be her pants, boots and belt in the basement and wet boots with tread matching the footprints in the snow.
Baker is scheduled to go to trial on April 10, 2023 for the criminal possession of dangerous drugs charge. Separately, he is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 9, 2023 for charges of kidnapping, strangulation of a partner or family member, and assault with a weapon.
If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, the Abbie Shelter operates a 24-hour crisis helpline at (406) 752-7273. Additional information can be found at www.abbieshelter.org.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.