U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas
Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shana Jones, Special Assistant
Daryl Fields, PAO
610 N.W. Loop 410
November 12, 2003
San Antonio, Texas 78216
SAN ANTONIO MAN SENTENCED FOR MURDER IN BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced today that 24-year-old John Michael Baker
was sentenced in federal court in Midland, Texas, to 210 months in prison, the maximum under
the sentencing guidelines, for the second degree murder of Shannon Stewart Roberts, a
University of Texas at San Antonio medical school student in February 2000.
In his guilty plea entered on August 25, 2003, Baker admitted to killing Roberts and burying his
body in the Big Bend National Park. According to the factual basis filed in this case, Baker
admitted to using a rope to choke the victim to death. On March 31, 2000, the victim’s
decomposed body, which had been partially unearthed by animals, was discovered by a U.S.
Border Patrol agent.
In sentencing Baker to 210 months, United States District Judge Robert Junell also took into
account the fact that on August 13, 2003, Baker had escaped from federal custody prior to
entering his guilty plea. Baker was arrested by law enforcement the following day near Fort
Worth, Texas. In addition to his prison term, Judge Junell ordered that Baker be placed under
supervised release for a period of five years after completing his prison term.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Parks Service and
Texas Rangers. Assistant United States Attorney Gary Tromblay prosecuted this case on behalf
of the Government.