Adam Randy Baker Gets Nearly 19 Years to Life for Orange County's First Murder of 2011

Categories: 2011 Homicides

A 26-year-old Dana Point man was sentenced this morning to 18 years and 8 months to life in state prison for the fatal New Year's party stabbing that was Orange County's first murder of 2011. Adam Randy Baker, shown in his booking photo at right, was convicted Dec. 12 of second-degree murder and attempted murder for killing Air Force veteran Robert Sickles and trying to do the same to the dead man's friend Brian McTeigue outside the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa just after 2 a.m. Jan. 1, 2011.

Baker was sitting on a bench near the Hilton valet booth at Bristol Street and Paularino Avenue, where he flicked a cigarette at a group of men and began arguing with David Sickles, the brother of 27-year-old Robert, who intervened. Baker then pushed Robert, whipped out a knife and slashed him across the chest.

McTeigue, 27, stepped to in tho help his friend but was stabbed in the back. McTeigue and Sickles' other friends managed to detain Baker as Costa Mesa police officers, who were already at the hotel responding to other disturbances, swooped in and detained the knifeman.

Sickles and McTeigue were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where Sickles was pronounced dead on arrival.

Robert Sickles, 2011 OC Homicide No. 1: Stabbed Outside Hotel New Year's Party in Costa Mesa

McTeigue's injuries were not life-threatening. Baker also required treatment for facial fractures and was arrested for murder after his recovery.

At today's sentencing hearing, Sickles' mother, aunt, family friends and McTeigue gave emotional impact statements, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement.

"I see my son David suffer from survivor's guilt, knowing Baker had him in his sights and that Robert was not the original target," Robin Sickles, the mother of the men, said. "David is incredibly traumatized from witnessing his brother's death and lives every day with the haunting images from that night. He watched helplessly as his brother lay dying in his arms, as he took his last breath."

Sickles' aunt said Baker not only took a life, he took a son, a grandson, a brother, a friend and an Air Force veteran, according to the statement.

McTeigue revealed he can't explain having to relive the memory of one of his best friends dying in his arms.

According to a City News Service report, Baker testified during the trial that he could not recall the fight. He said he went to the party forgetting that he had left in his pocket a knife
that he had been using to open boxes at his job.

His defense attorney Gary Pohlson argued during the trial that the incident was a "glorified bar fight that went horribly wrong" and portrayed Baker as the victim who was trying to defend himself.

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vegandawg23 topcommenter

I came here to type: "Whenever someone is acting rudely or aggressively, remember you can always walk away. It's not worth it getting into a confrontation over something some minor that may end in someone losing their life." but then thought, naw screw that. You can't let people get away with acting like that. Pretty soon everyone will be then. But remember lots of people carry weapons so best you do to.


when will we realize that a 45 caliber bullet costs the tax-payer far less than 18-19 years of free room and board for a murderer?


i hope his dumb ass rots in prison.. he is a low life peice of shit..

949girl topcommenter

This is a little off topic but also on topic because it applies to this case....  "with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon."  Why are sentencing enhancements added for use of a deadly weapon when murder is committed?  It's really hard to murder someone without a deadly weapon.   I don't think if he strangled him that would be any better.  Or could the hands be considered a "deadly weapon"?  this is the one sentencing enhancement I don't really understand.  It seems like a way to tack on more time when the DA decides to add this on because a lot of times it's not added on.  I've heard of other murders where this sentencing enhancment isn't tacked on when the victim has been killed with a gun, knife, baseball bat etc etc etc.

@lonhall When will people realize that we shouldn't kill people just because it saves money.

MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@949girl Sentencing enhancements come from laws passed by state legislators whose campaigns are financed by prison guards. It's the circle of life, Simba.

paullucas714 topcommenter


it is as exactly as you stated. Basically it is used in my opinion to hamper the defendant with more red tape to unravel in their defense. for example, if a guy is caught with marijuana in his house and he had guns in his garage that are unloaded and are registered in his name and didn't have any ammo, they will tack on enhancements for being armed in the commission of a felony and being personally armed.

949girl topcommenter

@paullucas714 @949girl ok, glad it's not just me that feels this way.  Murder is murder and to murder someone it takes a deadly weapon.  I get adding enhancements with torture when it's especially cruel though.  Whether you smother someone with a pillow (pillow is the deadly weapon) poison them with arsenic (arsenic is the deadly weapon) or slit their throat with a knife (knife is the deadly weapon) so how do you kill someone with something that isn't deadly?  I guess if you starved someone  that would be better since no deadly weapon was involved.  Or tricked someone in to walking off of a cliff but then the air and ground would be considered a deadly weapon (not the actual cliff)  I once worked with this super cool surfer guy (nicest guy in the world) and he tried to break up a fight between his brother and some guy and he threw a ketchup bottle and was charged with these crazy ridiculous charges and the ketchup bottle was considered a deadly weapon.  I think his charge was "assault with a deadly weapon" aka Heinz Ketchup.  But I will say I do love how you bring up marijuana in almost all of your comments. 

949girl topcommenter

@paullucas714 By me saying "I believe you should be charged with the original crime" I didn't mean you personally, but just speaking in general.  I don't know your circumstances.  But the stress of dealing with the court system alone could give you a heart attack. 

949girl topcommenter

@paullucas714 @949girl I"m sorry to hear what you are going through. I figured you had been screwed over somehow relating to medical marijuana.  But that's crazy.  So you had marijuana in your house and because you had guns in your garage they tacked that on also?  That's insane.  If the guns were unloaded and registered I don't understand.  So basically anyone who commits a "crime" can have these enhancements tacked on if they legally own guns that have no relation to the offense?  That's what kind of bugged me about the other story with the PEN1 member who stole food and beer from a bar and was later found out after the fact and had a gun on him while arrested but there was no mention of him having a gun at the time of the theft.  I don't agree with a lot of the sentencing enhancements and I believe you should be charged with the original crime.  Can I ask you how you were busted though?  What circumstances led the cops to your house in the first place to bust you with the pot? 

paullucas714 topcommenter

@949girl @paullucas714 

I bring up marijuana because it is the most egregious area where these enhancements ar used in order to try and deny a defendant the right to the affirmative defense, commonly known as the medical defense. And the scenario I described to you above with the unloaded guns in the garage is what exactly happened and is still happening to me 2 years after the fact. I had my gins that Ive owned since the early 90s all registered in my name no ammo, locked both in  storage container and locked in their own cases. So with no criminal history what so ever, and the fact that Im trying to get on a heart transplant list to save my life, the DDA in OC is trying to deny me the right to my affirmative defense by throwing gun enhancements on top of my charges. Now does it sound like a man is "Persoanly Armed" Or Armed in the Commission of a felony" for simply being a medical marijuana patient and also at the same time being a law abiding gun owner? Because that's what Im going through and trying to stay alive at the same time and not die from the stress.

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