A former corrections officer for the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office and another man were indicted Tuesday on charges that they conspired to kill a woman.
James Kristopher Baker, 24, the former corrections officer, and William Jeffery Lowder Jr., 29, could each face a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, Bibb County prosecutor Sandra Matson said.
The men are accused of conspiring through written communication between July 22, 2009, and Feb. 2, 2010, to kill Baker’s ex-wife, according to an indictment in Bibb Superior Court.
The alleged conspiracy was uncovered when a deputy assigned to the Bibb County jail intercepted a letter that Lowder had written Baker, Bibb County sheriff’s investigator Jack Cleveland said.
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In the letter, Lowder was trying to extort money from Baker, Cleveland said.
“The letter threatened bodily harm to Baker’s family if he didn’t pay,” he said.
Cleveland said Baker’s family paid Lowder $100 in one payment before authorities became aware of the alleged conspiracy.
Deputies also searched cells at the jail and found a letter from Baker to Lowder in which Baker was looking for someone to kill his ex-wife, Cleveland said. Written communication recovered by the sheriff’s office included diagrams of the ex-wife’s home and information about her routines.
Baker, of a Hunter Court address in Macon, was being held at the jail on a charge that he was stalking his ex-wife at the time of the new case, Cleveland said.
Lowder, of Ward Street in Macon, was being held on an armed robbery charge in connection with a July 18, 2009, holdup at X-mart, an adult entertainment store on Emery Highway, Cleveland said.
The armed robbery charge against Lowder has since been dismissed due to lack of evidence, Matson said.
Baker also is charged with sexual assault against a person in custody and violation of his oath of office in connection with an incident in which a female Twiggs County jail prisoner told authorities that she had sex with Baker, who was a corrections officer at the time.
The assault case against Baker is still pending in Twiggs County, according to the Twiggs County District Attorney’s Office.
Baker and Lowder were being held at the Bibb County jail Tuesday.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.