Man found guilty in ‘Call to Arms’ at Florida Capitol sentenced to 3.5 years in prison
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man who was found guilty of making threats and inciting violence at the Florida Capitol in January has been sentenced to a little over three and a half years of prison time.
Daniel Baker was arrested in January and later indicted after posting a “Call to Arms” online in the days leading up to the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
During the sentencing hearing, Baker’s defense attorney said his client is “prone to hyperbole.” He said Baker’s threats “had no real victims,” and were “conditioned upon unlikely events.” The defense attorney also said Baker had a legitimate concern that people would attack the Florida Capitol.
Baker told the judge he accepts full responsibility for his actions and he “obviously won’t be doing or saying anything like that again.”
The prosecution spoke about the “dangerousness of the defendant,” saying Baker expressed “interest in violence and using violence to extend his beliefs.”
“He perceives himself as a killer,” prosecutor Stephen Kunz said.
Kunz argued Baker went overseas as a foreign fighter, was radicalized and became a threat at home.
Judge Allen Winsor said it’s an unusual set of circumstances, but added that “the defendant committed two very serious crimes.” The judge pointed out Baker’s attempts to recruit other people and the way his online threats were transmitted repeatedly.
Winsor said Baker is a “violent person, who seeks out violence, celebrates violence, and spends money he doesn’t have to go fight for a militia overseas.”
Winsor also said Baker is a danger to society, and that his threat diverted law enforcement resources needed elsewhere. The judge agreed to recommend a location in Central Florida for Baker to serve his sentence.
During his trial in May, Baker testified that his comments on social media were heated political rhetoric, not real threats.
Prosecutors said his comments constituted a true threat and argued he had the guns and intentions to carry it out.
A jury found him guilty after a three-day trial.
His sentencing was originally scheduled for August; however, it was delayed until Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Following Baker’s 44-month prison term, he will be under supervised release for three years.
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