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'Cabin Baby' mom a no-show at arraignment

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By Stephen Knapp

Summer Lynn Baker, whom Canyon Courier readers will remember gave birth in a waterless Kerr Gulch cabin last September and was subsequently arrested on felony charges, failed to appear for her arraignment on Monday.

Free on a $1,000 bond, Baker contacted neither the court nor her attorney, Christi Sanders, to inform of a conflict or to change her scheduled 8:30 a.m. appearance. In response, District Judge Lily Oeffler revoked Baker’s bail, issued a warrant for her arrest, and reset her bond at $2,500, cash only.

Baker, 24, was set to enter pleas on felony charges of theft from an at-risk adult, aggravated motor vehicle theft and providing false information to a pawnbroker, plus a misdemeanor count of theft under $500. The charges stem from an Oct. 15 house fire on Armadillo Trail that investigators believe Baker and her husband, 24-year-old Gregory Allen Leon, intentionally set to mask the theft of more than $100,000 worth of jewelry. They are also suspected of leaving the scene of that crime in a stolen car, which subsequently was vandalized.

Leon, who remains jailed in lieu of $5,000 bond, stands accused of seven felony counts including first-degree arson, second-degree burglary and criminal mischief. His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 25.

Since her arrest on Oct. 31, Baker has attended all of her scheduled court appearances. She has also been present for those of her husband, including Leon’s preliminary hearing last Tuesday.

On Monday, Sanders asked to be relieved as Baker’s counsel, and Oeffler granted the request. Baker will be appointed a new public defender as soon as she can be located, and her arraignment will be rescheduled at that time.

As it happens, even before their arrest in Jefferson County, the couple had serious legal troubles to the west. On Jan. 2, 2007, Greg and Summer led police on an early-morning, high-speed chase down Interstate 70 through Clear Creek County. When apprehended, officers found their 6-month-old son, Manny, hidden beneath blankets in the back seat. Clear Creek County Human Services took indefinite custody of Manny in July after Leon again tested positive for drugs.

On Sept. 12, Baker gave birth to a baby daughter, Grace, the harrowing account of which prompted numerous offers of assistance from around the mountain area. In view of their arrest in Evergreen and evidence of continued drug use, the couple’s parental rights were terminated in November.

Since that time, Leon’s mother, Illinois resident Terrie Friday, has been living in an Idaho Springs hotel and fighting unsuccessfully for custody of her grandchildren. Both Manny and Grace now live with a foster family in Clear Creek County. Human Services officials would not comment on the case.