Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for attacking SLO County Jail guard

Joseph Allen Baker

A Nipomo man was sentenced Thursday to 12-years in prison for assaulting a San Luis Obispo County Jail correctional deputy earlier this year, an incident that left the guard with a broken nose and other major injuries.

On March 6, Joseph Allen Baker, 28, was serving a jail sentence for resisting arrest, assault and false imprisonment. While Baker and other inmates were being moved from one part of the jail to another, Baker charged at a correctional deputy and punched him multiple times around the head and face, according to the county sheriff’s office.

The guard managed to subdue Baker while other deputies arrived to assist. The injured deputy suffered a broken nose and fractured orbital and received nine stitches in his cheek area.

On Wednesday, Baker pleaded no contest to felony assault upon a custodial officer and admitted to personally inflicting great bodily injury on the victim. Baker also admitted to having a prior serious felony conviction under California’s three strikes law. The prior conviction was for making criminal threats.

After Judge Jacquelyn Duffy sentenced Baker to 12 years behind bars, SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement saying the punishment is justified.

“The callous and unprovoked assault of a deputy sheriff in this case more than justifies the substantial prison sentence imposed. This incident highlights the significant danger associated with corrections work,” Dow said.  “Our office stands ready to aggressively prosecute all such crimes in order to better ensure the safety of law enforcement, civilian personnel and the inmate population.”

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