A pretrial conference was held last week for William Howard Baker, 60, who is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a fatal accident in 2014.
Defense attorney Charles O’Hara said Friday he will file a motion to suppress statements made by Baker following the Aug. 16, 2014, accident that claimed the lives of Reno County couple Shawn and Danielle Schellenger. Baker was driving a pickup with a trailer that came loose on 10th St. and struck the motorcycle the Schellengers were on. At his preliminary hearing last December, law enforcement officers testified that Baker told them he didn’t have safety chains connected when the trailer came loose.
Barton County District Judge Ron Svaty asked whether Baker plans to testify, but indicated this is a standard question on the pre-trial checklist that is virtually always answered, “maybe.”
Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews indicated there may be some sort of virtual reconstruction, which the defense will be able to review. O’Hara said that depending on the nature of that evidence, he may want to add an expert to his list of witnesses, to refute the state’s evidence.
Baker has entered pleas of “not guilty” to both counts.
The jury trial is scheduled for May 2-6.