Press-Republican

Local News

January 16, 2014

Plea deal in fatal Lincoln Pond crash

ELIZABETHTOWN — Keith P. Denton has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in connection with a crash that took the life of a teen from Standish.

The car wreck occurred on Lincoln Pond Road on Saturday, June 24, 2012 — the day after Nicole “Nikki” Baker had graduated from Northern Adirondack Central School in Ellenburg. She was 17 and had planned to attend SUNY Potsdam in the fall.

Denton, now 22, was driving a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier, heading northward shortly before 10 p.m. when he lost control along a flat stretch of the road, according to police reports.

The car went off the roadway, struck a tree and flipped over. Baker was partially ejected and pinned under the car.

RAPE, SEX CHARGES

Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague said the plea deal for criminally negligent homicide includes two other criminal counts.

Denton also pleaded guilty to second-degree rape related to an incident in the Town of Lewis on or about Jan. 25, 2013.

“That was a statutory count, with a female less than 15 years old,” the prosecutor said.

A third count for sexual misconduct in the plea deal stems from an incident with another female victim, Sprague said, related to a Dec. 16, 2012, incident in Westport.

“In that case, he engaged in sexual intercourse with a female who could not consent because she was 15.”

WAIVED RIGHT TO APPEAL

In accordance with the plea agreement, Denton will serve a six-year determinate prison term for second-degree rape to run consecutive, and likely after, a 1-1/3-to-four-year maximum indeterminate sentence on the criminally negligent homicide, stemming from the fatal car crash.

Another one-year sentence for the sexual misconduct will run concurrently, Sprague said.

Prison time of up to 10 years will depend on the indeterminate time served, she explained.

A fourth charge of aggravated harassment against Denton was handled in lower court. That charge related to a harassing telephone call.

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