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Placer DA seeks death penalty in Loomis triple-slaying

Suspect Jeremy Baker jailed since May 2011 in deaths
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County District Attorney’s Office is now seeking the death penalty against triple-murder suspect Jeremy Baker.

Baker, 33, has been jailed since May 2011 on a no-bail hold after being charged with the Loomis slayings of a woman and two men.

On Wednesday, representatives of both the prosecution and defense teams indicated that because of the complexity of the death-penalty case it would likely be a lengthy period before it could be ready to go to preliminary hearing.

At a hearing before Placer County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Penney on several motions by court-appointed defense attorney Barry Zimmerman, both sides agreed to come up with a timeline reflective of a target date for the preliminary hearing to take place.

The next court appearance for Baker is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. May 22 in Penney’s Department 44 at the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. The District Attorney’s Office filed a notice in late January that it would be seeking the death penalty in the case because of the special circumstance of multiple deaths.

While documents in the case have been sealed by a court order by now-retired Judge Larry Gaddis, information from law enforcement after Baker’s arrest pieces together some of the details of the killings that are to come out during a future trial.

Baker, a Roseville resident, was arrested shortly after the shooting deaths of Nanette Florance, John Camara and Lawrence Fay.

A Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said at the time that the victims were known by Baker and all died of gunshot wounds. There was not sign of a struggle and nothing was taken. Neighbors reporting hearing three gunshots the night of the killings.

Florance and Fay’s bodies were discovered at a Rachel Lane address in Loomis. Florance, 47, was inside the home. Fay, 49, was discovered just outside a back door. Clinging to life after being spotted in the backyard, Camara would die after being taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. All had been shot in the head.

Fay and Camara had lived in the home for a number of years. Florance was a long-time Loomis resident who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Zimmerman told the court that he recently received 800 pages of information on the case and was expecting about 200 more.

“A lot is involved in this case,” Zimmerman said. “Since January, we’ve started litigating the issues in earnest.”

Penney told both sides that a time frame was necessary - nearly two years after charges were laid.

“We have to start moving this case along - I’m concerned about it,” Penney said.