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Ex-Martinsburg councilman fails to appear at court hearing

August 06, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Berkeley County magistrate has ordered the arrest of a former Martinsburg city councilman who failed to appear for a hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court on a charge that he failed to pay for and return a GPS unit that he leased in May 2007.

Christopher Aaron Baker, 34, was arraigned last week on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense and released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, according to magistrate court records.

Magistrate JoAnn Overington issued the capias, a writ ordering Baker's arrest, Thursday morning after Baker failed to appear for a preliminary hearing.

Baker, who served on City Council from 2000 to 2004, signed a lease agreement with a company on May 1, 2007, for a Topcon GPS unit with a value of $5,300, according to court records. The lease was $600 per month, but a company sales representative told police Baker failed to pay and could not be reached by the company afterward, according to court records.

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Caron East has offices in Cumberland, Md., and in Manassas and Chesapeake, Va., according to the company's website.

In May 2001, Baker was ordered to serve 10 days in jail after being arrested in June 2000 by Martinsburg Police and charged with a second offense of driving without an operator's license.

Baker did not seek re-election in 2004 after serving one four-year term on City Council.

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