Teen guilty of robbery, car chase

Kaleb Baker's mother

A Beaumont teen with what had seemed like a bright future pleaded guilty Monday, Aug. 12, to robbery and evading arrest after a home invasion led to a chase June 16. 

Kaleb Baker, 17, was indicted July 18 and was accused of being the wheelman in the robbery. 

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, Baker took the victim’s silver Honda Accord from the home where at least four other acquaintances robbed an unsuspecting couple. The men took the victim’s cell phone and tossed the keys to the victim’s car to Baker before they fled the scene. 

Officers arrived shortly afterward, following the victim’s Honda Accord and attempted to make a traffic stop shortly thereafter. It seems Baker was in no mood to be caught, as he led police on a chase exceeding 100 mph in the eastbound lanes of Highway 105 in heavy traffic. 

The chase continued through much of Beaumont’s west and north ends and almost ended when a BPD cruiser struck the vehicle driven by Baker. Despite being hit by police, the Honda Accord continued “through the sidewalk on the north side of Easy Lucas and through bushes that lined the parking lot for Walgreens Drug Store on the northeast corner of East Lucas and Concord,” according to the probable cause affidavit. 

Soon after, the Honda Accord left the roadway, almost striking a tree. This caused the car to lose its front tire upon reentering the roadway and wreck into a ditch near Bennet Road. Both Baker and another suspect fled from police on foot, but Baker was caught in a patch of woods near Bennet Road where police found a stolen .40-caliber handgun police say Baker used in the robbery. 

At least two of Baker’s acquaintances were arrested the next day in the 5000 block of Timber Creek, in an apartment. Police identified them as Jacoby Joiner, 18, and Christopher Wyble, 18, of Beaumont. Both were charged with theft of a firearm, according to a BPD press release. 

At his sentencing hearing Monday, Baker’s mother said her son was an intelligent young man, a straight-A student who excelled in math and science. She said her son was caught up in the wrong crowd and plans to finish high school and attend college when he’s out of prison. She said he regrets his actions that day and in an emotional plea, apologized to the victims of the robbery. 

Baker has no criminal history and faces probation to 10 years in prison. 

His sentencing is set for Sept. 16 in Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court.