Plea deal for White Bear Lake man in gang related murder will leave him free in five years

Under the terms of a plea agreement, charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder were dismissed at Brandon Baker’s sentencing last week.

Brandon Maurice Baker

A White Bear Lake man was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a 2019 gang-related murder in St. Paul, but he’ll be out in less than five years under Minnesota sentencing rules.

Brandon Maurice Baker, 29, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County court and was convicted on two counts of aiding an offender/accomplice after the fact related to the October 2019 drive-by shooting of Shawn Jones in the Summit-University neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Baker’s brother, Marcus Anthony Baker, 35, was sentenced last September to over 40 years in prison for shooting Jones, 28 at the time, and wounding another man in the shooting that was captured on a nearby security camera.

According to the charges, Brandon was a passenger in a van driven by Marcus, who pulled up along side Jones’ vehicle and fired shots. Court documents state that the shooting may have been spurred by perceived taunts in a rap video that parties had been filming and livestreaming nearby prior to the shooting. Both Brandon and Marcus were known to police to be associated with a gang that rivaled the gang creating the rap video, the charges say.

Following the shooting, investigators were able to track the van through surveillance video to an apartment complex in Oakdale where the mother of Marcus Baker’s child was living. Security video obtained by police showed two black males cleaning out the van and one of them removing the license plates. The males were subsequently identified as Marcus and Brandon Baker. Investigators were able to compare clothing and other features between the video from the crime scene and the apartment complex as police observed the suspects over several days following the shooting.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder were dismissed at Brandon Baker’s sentencing last week, and no sentence was pronounced on the second count of aiding an offender. The case was presided over by Judge Teresa R. Warner.

Minnesota uses what’s called determinate sentencing. Under this system, offenders are only required to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated and the remainder on supervised release. As such, Brandon Baker is scheduled for release in August 2026 after serving just under five years.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.