Convicted stabber is no-show

Published 11:32am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NORTHWOOD — A Worth County District Court judge issued a warrant Tuesday for the man charged in the nonfatal stabbing of two others in June at the Schoolside Apartments.

Donald Monte Baker, formerly of Northwood, failed to appear for a sentencing Tuesday at the Worth County Courthouse in Northwood. He pleaded guilty to stabbing two people in June. -- Sarah Stultz/ Albert Lea Tribune
Donald Monte Baker, formerly of Northwood, failed to appear for a sentencing Tuesday at the Worth County Courthouse in Northwood. He pleaded guilty to stabbing two people in June. –
Sarah Stultz/
Albert Lea Tribune

Donald Monte Baker, 26, formerly of Northwood, pleaded guilty in November to one count of assault causing serious injury, a felony. The charge was tied to the June 5 stabbing of Bennie Montgomery, 28, and Valerie Merrideth, 26, both of Northwood.

Baker was to be sentenced Tuesday but failed to appear for his hearing.

Worth County Attorney Jeff Greve said Baker is reportedly living in the Chicago area, and it is not the first time he has not appeared for a court hearing.

In October, a judge issued a warrant after Baker did not appear three times for a plea hearing. Baker’s lawyer had already postponed the sentencing hearing one other time prior to Tuesday.

According to reports, the stabbing took place after an altercation at the apartments at 607 Seventh St. N.

Baker reportedly used a kitchen knife in the attack.

Montgomery was flown by Mercy Air Med to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City for injuries, while Merrideth drove herself to Mercy, where she was treated and released for less severe stab wounds, according to reports.

Worth County Sheriff Jay Langenbau, in a previous story, said there had been ongoing trouble between the two men that intensified that night.

Greve said once Baker is arrested he will not be released again until he is sentenced. A plea agreement in the case recommends Baker be sentenced to probation.