Seth Topek
Connect with me
Criminal Defense Attorney: Defending the Rights of the Accused and the Incarcerated
Posted on Jun 20, 2013

    Debra Lynn Baker is being released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  Her sentence expires on 6/20/2013.  She has spent the last ten years in prison for the murder of her employer Jerry Sternadel as a result of her probation being revoked.  Mr. Sternadel died of arsenic poisoning.  Baker was his bookkeeper. Mr. Sterndal, who was otherwise healthy, fell deathly ill in 1990.  Prosecutors say his death was caused by arsenic put into his juice.  A bottle of the poison was found in a storage shed rented by Baker.  His first wife and daughter said that Mr. Sternadel found out she had been embezzling money and that he was planning to divorce his wife.    Family members believed that his second wife was also involved although she has never been charged with any crime.  Baker had a trial by jury that resulted in a guilty verdict.  After convicting her of murder the jury sentenced her to 10 years probation.  In December of 2003 her probation was revoked as a result of a theft by check case in Hayes County and she was sentenced to serve ten years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  Baker first became eligible for parole in 2004.  She has been reviewed for parole by the Texas Parole Board and the victim’s family took advantage of their right to communicate with the parole board and strenuously objected to her release from prison.  She was never paroled and has now completed her sentence.  Accounts of the story were aired on television on Current Affair in 1995, the Oxygen channel in 2004, and Snapped in 2005.