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Lawyer Charged in Meth Case Had Sought County Prosecutor’s Job

Posted Nov 4, 2009 1:18 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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An Arkansas attorney arrested Friday at her law office and home in Berryville and charged with two counts of delivering methamphetamine had earlier sought election as Carroll County prosecutor.

Cindy Baker, 36, who has had a colorful past as a trial lawyer, came within 53 votes of winning the 2006 Democratic primary from Tony Rogers, who currently holds the prosecutor's job, reports the Harrison Daily Times.

Wired for audio and video, a confidential informant allegedly visited Baker at her office-home a week ago and paid her $200 for a gram of apparent methamphetamine, the newspaper reports. The same informant allegedly has also purchased meth from Baker on other occasions.

A subsequent Harrison Daily Times article reports that Baker was released on $50,000 bond and has entered a rehab facility.

Neither article includes any comment from Baker or her legal counsel.

It isn't clear from the articles exactly what initially drew authorities' attention to Baker, who has been the subject of several contempt proceedings.

A 2005 trial in which Baker represented a defendant in a meth case ended abruptly after she brought into court what she said was a commercially available firecracker similar to what police said was a stick of dynamite found in her client's place of business. When she couldn't assure the judge that it was disarmed, an evacuation of the entire courthouse and a mistrial resulted, the Daily Times reports.

The judge threatened to hold Baker in criminal contempt of court, but relented. After a different jury convicted her client in the meth case, she argued unsuccessfully before the state supreme court that the conviction should be thrown out because it constituted double jeopardy.

Last year, Baker aggravated another state-court judge when she reportedly asked him to postpone a Berryville court hearing because she had been delayed in federal court in St. Louis but was actually elsewhere, as a speeding ticket showed. She pleaded no contest to that contempt case.

She earned her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and has practiced in Berryville for a decade.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Speeding Lawyer Not Fast Enough on Her Feet With Court Excuse"

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