Trooper Claude H. Baker, Jr.

Trooper Claude H. Baker, Jr.

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, November 17, 1973

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Claude H. Baker, Jr.

Trooper Claude Baker was shot and killed after stopping an escaped prisoner in a stolen car at 7:57 p.m. near Venice.

He was found lying on the highway beside his patrol car by a passing motorist on U.S. 41. A few hours later, the suspect was taken into custody at a police roadblock in Charlotte County. He had stolen the car from a woman whom he had also robbed and raped.

The 24-year-old suspect was convicted of first-degree murder, escape, robbery, rape, and motor vehicle theft. He was sentenced to three life terms plus 20 years in prison on March 22, 1974. On November 22, 1987, he escaped from prison and was recaptured four days later. While out, he committed an armed robbery and a deadly assault. He was convicted of both crimes and got 80 years added to his sentence. As of November 21, 2020, he was in prison.

Trooper Baker was a United States Air Force veteran and had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for 9 years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and parents.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

escapee, sex offender, stolen vehicle, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 23 Reflections

I knew you for awhile.i gassed
Up your patrol asked why were open.dave a I worked
For daves brother in law.we asked to keep it open all handed me a state credit card and i tossed it back to you and said we take cash.we lall laughed and you pulled out heading south on U.S.41.then a 2 lane dark a short time
We saw all kinds of patrol cars heading south.we were the last people as far as i know to see you alive.

H.Philip Platt
Friend and former REMT

August 27, 2023

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