Former Murder Defendant Sexually Assaults 97-Year-Old Resident At Living Waters Assisted Living

A former murder defendant, 42, who once resided at a nursing home at Living Waters Assisted Living in Fishersville, has been charged with sexually assaulting another resident at the home. That resident was a 94-year-old woman with severe dementia.

The accused is Kenneth Baker, 42, of Fishersville, who was jailed in June after a nursing home worker at Living Waters, 224 Fishersville Road, where Baker was a resident, called authorities to report the man had assaulted an elderly woman who suffered from extreme dementia, said the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office.

Her incapacity elevated the charge to aggravated sexual battery, which carries a possible 20-year prison sentence.

A judge recently certified the case to a grand jury after a Western State Hospital doctor evaluated Baker and deemed him competent to stand trial.

Such was not the case in 1999, after Baker was charged with the first-degree murder of Ruth Naomi Mays, 48.

Authorities found Mays on June 12, 1998, stuffed into a septic tank at the home of Baker’s neighbor in Churchville. Mays, missing four months, had been shot in the head by a gun that a state forensics lab confirmed to be Baker’s.

But from October 1999 to April 2003, evaluations repeatedly found Baker incompetent to stand trial. When he was deemed “unrestorable,” authorities were required to dismiss the murder charge. Baker remained committed at Western State Hospital until moving to Living Waters in the past year, authorities said.

Letters to the court from Western State detail Baker’s history of psychiatric treatment, which began at age 6. Doctors described his aggression toward childhood peers, inhalation of gas fumes and consumption of amphetamines as well as alcohol.

Baker twice suffered head injuries in car wrecks, first in 1986, then in 1992. The second caused a “real change,” his mother told doctors, and left Baker “more easily angered.”

Throughout reports, Baker maintained a delusion that he had two sons that an ex-wife hid from him, records show. That delusion, his inability to articulate how the murder charge led to his Western Sate commitment and his resentment of authority figures led doctors to deem Baker “unrestorable.” For more, read the story. Also. see a letter to the editor from the relative of another resident of Living Waters, who said he warned state authorities that Baker should not be allowed to live at the home.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 

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