Photo/Story Gallery 2010
Gone but Never Forgotten
On November 17, 1973, Trooper Claude H. Baker was killed in the line of duty on U.S. 41 and River Road in Sarasota County. He was shot during a traffic stop conducted on Henry Lorenzo Payne, an escaped prisoner. The killer later plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. The Florida Highway Patrol station located at 4010 South Tamiami Trail in Venice is named for Trooper Baker.
Life Scout, Tab Brewer, of the Boy Scouts of America has further honored Trooper Baker as his Eagle Scout project. He requested the Florida Legislature to designate a portion of U.S. 41 as the “Trooper Claude Baker Memorial Highway” which passed as part of House Bill 5. He also had a picture of Trooper Baker and his headstone rehabilitated.
A Memorial Ceremony took place on May 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM at the South County Courthouse in Venice. Speakers included Chief Judge Lee E. Haworth, Sheriff Tom Knight, FHP Major Carlos Vazquez and Mrs. Connie Baker Brady.
Slain trooper remembered 37 years later
Published on WWSB ABC Sarasota County, May 22, 2010