Man charged with punching, killing man who he believed stole backpack

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man now faces criminal charges after police say he punched and killed a man who he believed stole his backpack.

Robert Walter Baker, 38, who is listed as homeless, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with homicide by assault, a second-degree felony.

On May 31, police were called to an assault at 235 S. 500 West and found an unconscious Delpatrick Longacre, 58. He was taken to University of Utah Hospital with brain bleeding and a severe skull fracture, according to charging documents.

Tests showed he had no brain activity. Longacre was pronounced dead on June 2.

Multiple witnesses told police they saw an argument between Longacre and Baker. Baker punched Longacre during the fight and then ran away, the charges state. The witnesses saw Longacre fall and his head hit the ground.

Baker later told investigators that "he confronted Delpatrick about his stolen backpack" and Longacre "got into his face and raised his right arm like he was going to hit him." Baker then hit him in the face with his elbow, according to the charges.

An autopsy showed Longacre's cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Baker was arrested and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

— Ashley Imlay


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Ashley Imlay is an evening news manager for A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.


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