A jury Wednesday found Adam Randy Baker guilty of fatally stabbing one man and trying to murder a second who tried to stop the attack outside a Costa Mesa hotel's 2011 New Year's Eve party.
The Dana Point 25-year-old now faces a sentence of 23 years to life in state prison at a Feb. 8 hearing in Santa Ana.
Orange County's first murder of 2011 happened just after 2 a.m. that Jan. 1, when Baker was sitting on a bench near the valet booth of the Hilton Hotel on Bristol Street and Paularino Avenue, where he flicked a cigarette at a group of men and began arguing with one of them.
Robert Sickles, 27, intervened to help his brother, but Baker pushed the man, whipped out a knife and slashed him across the chest. That prompted Sickles' friend, Brian McTeigue, to step in–and get stabbed in the back by Sickles for his heroics.
McTeigue, who is now 27, and Sickles' other friends managed to detain Baker as Costa Mesa police officers who were already at the hotel responding to other disturbances, swooped in and detained the knifeman.
Sickles and McTeigue were taken to Western Medical Center in
Santa Ana, where Sickles was pronounced dead on arrival.
injuries were not life-threatening, and he wasn't the only one hurting that early morning, as the opening page booking photo shows. Baker was transported to Mission Hospital to be treated for facial
fractures sustained after the stabbing. He was arrested for murder after his recovery.
The jury convicted Baker of one felony count each of second degree murder and attempted
murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.