Chris Baker Goes One For Two

Yesterday was full of good news and bad news for Chris Baker, who is facing felony charges on two separate fights he allegedly took part in. First the good news.

After more than 20 total hours of deliberation, the Office of Judicial Affairs found former Penn State football player Chris Baker innocent on all charges, he said last night.

"I just ... jumped up and down and was screaming. That felt real good," Baker said of his reaction to the verdict. "It's just one obstacle down, two more to go." Baker is still currently facing criminal charges stemming from a fight at the HUB-Robeson Center on Oct. 7 and a fight at the Meridian II apartment building, 646 E. College Ave., on April 1.

Baker said the university will not be recommending any disciplinary action be taken against him. They had recommended a one-year expulsion in his case, Baker told The Daily Collegian last week.

Perhaps a mea culpa is in order. After the HUB fight this blog was highly critical of Chris Baker and suggested he never wear the Blue and White again. Apparently the office of Judicial Affairs couldn't find any evidence to suggest Chris Baker was involved in the incident at the HUB.

Despite the length of the hearings, Baker, a former defensive tackle, said he thought it went well.

"I just explained how no one actually identified me as a participant in the fight. I just proved how people misidentified me, and there was no evidence to say I actually touched anyone," he said.

So this is good news. Chris Baker will not be expelled from school. Whether or not he's welcome back on the football team remains to be seen, but BSD never wished for him to be kicked out of school. Everyone deserves an education.

But yesterday wasn't all good news for Baker. He will still have to have his day in court.

Suspended Penn State defensive lineman Chris Baker lost his fight have witness identifications and a burglary charge against him thrown out of court in a ruling handed down Wednesday by Centre County President Judge David E. Grine.

Baker, 20, of Windsor, Conn., is scheduled to stand trial March 31 on counts of burglary, simple assault and criminal trespass for an April 1 incident at the Meridian II apartment complex in State College.

Hopefully Chris can get this resolved and put it behind him. I'm still sceptical whether or not he should be allowed on the team. Whether he's guilty or innocent he's shown the propensity to keep ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. BSD would be more inclined to give him some slack if he took the Anthony Scirrotto route. Don't let the DA get away with saying you tried to kill somebody, but man up and admit you probably didn't show the best judgement and show you're willing to take some minor for punishment for it.

If Baker's trial wraps up at the end of this month and he isn't stuck with any jail time I get the impression he'll be welcomed back on the team. The article says he is still in contact with Larry Johnson, so that's a good sign. But here is my advice to Chris Baker. Buy yourself a Playstation 3, and the next time your friends say they're going out "party walking" on a Saturday night tell them "No thanks."

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