Loogootee Man Re-Sentenced For Murder Committed While

(VANDALIA, IL) — A Loogootee man who was sentenced as a teenager to life in prison for the murders of his sleeping neighbors was resentenced Monday in Fayette County court to 85 years as a result of a Supreme Court ruling that required resentencing of certain juvenile offenders. Clifford Baker was convicted in 2011 for the shooting deaths of his neighbors, 60-year-old Michael Mahon and 53-year-old Debra Tish as they slept in their Loogootee home, along with the home invasion of the couple’s neighbors. Baker, who was 15 at the time of the murders, was tried as an adult and sentenced in that case to two life sentences for each murder plus 30 years for each home invasion assuring he would never be released from prison. Baker’s case was remanded back to Fayette County court for new sentencing after the U.S Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that a mandatory natural life sentence on a person under 18 violates the 8th amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Judge Allan Lolie resentenced Baker Monday to 37-1/2 years in prison on each of the murder counts to run consecutively. Baker was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on each of the home invasion counts and those will run concurrently, but will be served consecutively to the two murder terms. While the home invasion sentences do qualify for day-for-day good time, the murder sentences do not, so Baker will have to serve the full 75 years on the murder counts and at least 10 years on the home invasions.