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Video shows murder suspect admitting to shooting ex-girlfriend

by Tom Chillemi

Defense attorney John Singleton claimed that accused murderer Travis Al Baker shot his ex-girlfriend Wendy Sabrina Billups in the “heat of passion” on September 8, 2013.

Singleton’s claim came during his opening statement in the trial of Baker, 36, of Water View, who is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of murder, and shooting in an occupied dwelling.

Two charges of child endangerment were nolle prossed (not prosecuted), said Middlesex Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael T. Hurd as the trial got under way on Tuesday.

Hurd submitted as evidence a 52-minute tape of Baker in the witness interrogation room at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. It was recorded hours after Baker allegedly shot Billups, 33, at her residence on Urbanna Road, about a half mile from Cooks Corner. A sobbing Baker said, “I shot her twice . . . in the head.”

On the video, Baker confessed after Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) investigator C.B. Sibley advised Baker of his Miranda rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning.

On the recording, Baker said he found the gun in his house in Water View just before he went to Billups’ residence. He said Billups had “hid it” when she was living there.

Billups moved out about two weeks before the murder, said Hurd in his opening statement.

MSO Sergeant E. Epperly testified on Tuesday afternoon that he was at the sheriff’s office when a “frantic” Baker and his mother came to the office shortly after the shooting. Sgt. Epperly testified that Baker told him he “shot his girlfriend in the head.”

Deputy Ben Langford testified he was the first deputy at the MSO to talk to Baker, who told him he had shot his “ex-girlfriend.”

Langford recovered the .380 semi-automatic pistol from the vehicle of Baker’s mother, which was parked at the MSO.

Baker and Billups had two children together. The eldest, who is now 6 years old, was called as a witness for the prosecution, and testified to hearing gunshots and seeing blood on September 8, 2013.

The trial resumed Wednesday, September 30, with the prosecution presenting the rest of its case.

A jury of seven women and six men is hearing evidence in the case, which is not a capital murder case. (One of the jurors is an alternate, in case a juror cannot complete the trial.)

See more details on the trial in next week’s Sentinel.

posted 09.30.2015

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