A 24-year-old man accused of killing another man with a deadly weapon in Shelton June 24 is being held in Mason County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Kyle Alexander Baker appeared in Mason County Superior Court on Tuesday. Lacey police took Baker into custody early Tuesday after receiving a tip he was staying in a Thurston County homeless camp.
The Mason County Prosecutor’s Office charged him with premeditated first-degree murder on Wednesday. He is accused of killing John L. Farmer, 22, with a “baseball bat and/or a machete,” according to court documents. Police found Farmer’s body near Kneeland Park in Shelton on June 24.
Judge Monty D. Cobb set the bail amount on Tuesday, citing concerns Baker might interfere with administration of justice or commit a violent crime. A probable cause statement describes law enforcement’s investigation into Farmer’s death.
At 10:46 a.m. June 24, police responded to a call about a body located in the woods on Turner Avenue in Shelton, according to the statement. Police arrived about six minutes later and looked for the body in multiple locations within the woods, per the statement.
About 25 yards into the woods, an officer found a man’s body with lacerations on his hand and head, according to the statement. The responding officer judged these injuries to be defensive rather than self-inflicted, per the statement.
The statement indicates a coroner later advised law enforcement that the man appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to the head and significant injuries to his wrists, hands and knees.
The probable cause statement does not specify what kind of weapon caused the injuries or whether a weapon was ever found.
Baker has been in and out of jail since 2018 on three separate assault cases. He has previously pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and fourth-degree assault in 2018, second-degree assault in 2019 and third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer in 2019.
Shelton police did not find any occupants at nearby campsites and cordoned off the area for the investigation, according to the statement.
However, police found the person who initially reported the body at the scene. That person told police he called 911 after someone else informed him of the body and suggested a person of interest, per the statement.
He said a man who goes by the name “Bam Bam” was known to be staying at a nearby campsite and living with mental illness, according to the statement. He said “Bam Bam” had been previously arrested for assaulting a city of Shelton employee near Brewer Park, per the statement.
The investigating officer found information on a case involving an assault on a city employee which identified Baker as the alleged assailant, according to the statement.
The case also included information on other people that stayed at Baker’s campsite, per the statement, leading the officer to interview another person.
That person reportedly identified Baker as “Bam Bam” and told police she heard Baker acting strangely the night of Farmer’s death. During the interview, she eventually said “Bam killed him,” according to the statement.
Shelton police could not immediately identify the body found at the scene, per the statement, so they called in a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent to use a fingerprint scanner.
The scanner identified the deceased as John Farmer, according to the statement.
Baker is due back in court on July 19 for his arraignment.