She was a vivacious 31-year-old mother and a school teacher. Her life was taken by her preacher-husband, and he nearly got away with it. Thank God for the perseverance of Kari Baker’s mother, investigators, prosecutors, and others who sought justice for Kari.
According to testimony at trial, Matt Baker drugged his wife and smothered her with a pillow until she died.
The investigation also brought to light evidence that Matt Baker had spent years leading “a secret life as a sexual predator.” Prosecutors said that he had made advances and assaults on at least 13 young women, including 4 minors. Yet, despite multiple reports of sexual abuse and sexual assault, Matt Baker was always able to continue his career through churches, schools, and organizations affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
No one stopped him. No one removed him from ministry. No one held him accountable.
Some experts say that sexual predators can become emboldened by a lack of consequences.
Former Texas minister Matt Baker found guilty of murdering wife and faking her suicide note, Associated Press
Former Texas pastor convicted of killing wife, FOX News
Preacher Matt Baker guilty of killing wife, could get life in prison as jury hears new sex evidence, CBS News
Sentencing phase for Matt Baker begins, KXXV-TV (with videos)
Jury finds Baker guilty of murder; punishment phase begins, KWTX-TV (with video)
Excerpts from the Matt Baker murder trial, 1/20/10
Baptist leaders silent at start of murder trial, 1/12/10
Baptist leaders must consider possible consequences, 6/12/09
Risk: Another lesson from the Matt Baker story, 12/31/08
Baptists at their best? 12/30/08
Why didn’t Baptists bust him? 2/23/08