Gilmer man indicted for murder in February 6 slaying

GILMER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) -- A Gilmer man was indicted Thursday by an Upshur County grand jury on one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the February 6 stabbings of three people, according to District Attorney Billy Byrd's office.

Eddie Douglas Baker, 26, is charged with killing 45-year-old Tana Fuller Warren of Gilmer, and stabbing two Hughes Springs residents, Matthew Weems, now 18, and Melissa Cahill, 28. Weems and Ms. Cahill were hospitalized, but recovered, Byrd said.

Baker remained in county jail Friday under bonds of $850,000 on the murder charge, $250,000 each on the two aggravated assault charges. He admitted in a videotaped statement to fatally stabbing Ms. Warren and putting her in the back of his mobile camper at 7248 Ginger Road, northeast of Gilmer, according to information released in February by the offices of Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter and Byrd.

The state alleges Baker killed Ms. Warren, who he had been dating, before the other stabbings, Byrd said Friday. When Baker later attacked Weems, then 17 years old, outside the camper, Ms. Cahill heard the disturbance, came outside, and was also stabbed, the prosecutor alleged.

Weems and Ms. Cahill, who were hospitalized at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, both recovered, Byrd said Friday.

No trial date nor an arraignment has been set for Baker, represented by Longview attorney Charles Van Cleef, the prosecutor said.

The Upshur County Sheriff's Office responded to a disturbance call about 5:41 p.m. February 6, and deputies learned two persons had been stabbed, Sheriff Anthony Betterton said in a prepared statement released February 7. The officers also learned the suspect had poured gasoline on a travel trailer and threatened to set it afire, Betterton said.

"Upon deputies' arrival, two victims were located who were both transported to an area hospital," and officers also "located the suspect, who fled on foot," Betterton said. The suspect, whose name was not mentioned in the sheriff's news release, was subsequently found and arrested on the two assault charges, Betterton said.

"It was later reported to the Sheriff Office that a woman who lives with the suspect was missing and (had) not been heard from or seen since Tuesday (Feb. 5)," the sheriff said. Deputies took a missing person report from a relative before returning to the missing woman's home to try to locate her, he said.

"Upon their arrival, deputies found evidence that led (them) . . . to believe the woman may possibly be injured inside the residence," Betterton said. They found her dead inside, he said.

Potter said he pronounced Ms. Warren dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy be performed at Forensic Medical of Texas-Tyler.

Affidavits dated February 6 quoted Deputy M. Gilow, one of the officers dispatched to the scene, as saying the disturbance call was that Baker had poured gasoline onto the unidentified reporting party's trailer "and was about to set it on fire."

"While en route to the location, we were advised that a stabbing had also taken place with Baker as the actor," Gilow said in the document. "Upon my arrival, I observed two involved parties/victims running up Ginger Road screaming, 'Eddie is still at the house.'"

Gilow said two units went to check on the person at the location while he tried to render aid to the victims. Shortly after deputies arrived at the stabbing scene, Baker ran from them, but was later apprehended, Gilow said.

The victims meantime said Baker purposely stabbed them, "causing severe laceration and puncture wounds on both victims," and that they were attacked without "warning after a small argument," Gilow reported.

In another affidavit, Sheriff's Investigator Chris McCauley said that during an active investigation February 7, he interviewed Baker regarding the discovery of the body of Ms. Warren, "who had been reported as a missing person." Baker "confessed in his video statement that he had killed Warren by stabbing her and placed her in the back of his residence. Due to this information, Baker was charged with murder," McCauley said.

Judge Potter said he believed Gilow arrested the suspect at Baker's home February 6.


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