Closing arguments have began in the Yolanda Baker trial. She went missing about 11 years ago and was legally declared dead in 2009. She was the mother to twins, a boy and a girl. This is only the third time that a “no body” murder case was tried in D.C. according to a U.S. attorney’s office spokesman.
Baker’s boyfriend, Terrance Barnett (45) was arrested last year and charged with first-degree murder.
From the FBI: “On Sunday, August 8, 1999, Ms. Baker’s Toyota Corolla was discovered in the alley behind 773B 18th Street, NE. After members of the Metropolitan Police Department gained entry to the vehicle, they immediately smelled a very foul odor emanating from the trunk.
Blood was immediately visible on the trunk’s carpet and in the spare tire wheel well. The blood was later matched to the DNA of Yolanda Baker.
A subsequent search of Ms. Baker’s home revealed that the carpet had been removed from the master bedroom and that blood spatter, which was linked through DNA testing to blood of Ms. Baker and Mr. Barnett was apparent on the walls, ceiling and floor and on the shirt that the defendant was wearing on the last night of Yolanda’s life. Ms. Baker’s body has never been found.” Read more here.
UPDATE: after three days of jury deliberation, Barnett was found guilty of second-degree murder. He had been charged with first-degree murder however, the jury was unable to decide there was enough evidence he planned to kill Yolanda Baker. In 2010, Barnett was sentenced and received the statutory maximum sentence of 20 years to life imprisonment.