A local man accused of child molestation and possession of child pornography can be treated for his cancer while being housed in state prison, a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge ruled today.
Judge Barry LaBarbera ruled that Donald Robert Baker's health needs can be met in state prison. Baker has pleaded no contest to 11 criminal counts, including molestations of two minors.
Baker has been receiving radiation treatment for cancer. Fluid had filled in the sack around his heart, and he underwent a draining procedure earlier this week.
LaBarbera spoke in a conference call in court with a state prison medical supervisor who said that inmates with cancer in California prisons have a housing area where they can receive special medical attention.
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The supervisor said that Baker can receive radiation treatment and other medical attention as a California inmate. LaBarbera had held off on incarcerating Baker — who's out on bail — until finding out whether the prison could accommodate his needs.
Baker did not appear in court today, and his lawyer, David Fisher, said that he spoke with Baker by phone before the hearing, but that Baker was nearly incomprehensible because of the effects of his illness and treatment. Baker was at his home in Santa Margarita when they spoke, Fisher said.
Deputy District Attorney Fabiana Fede asked for the judge to order a warrant for Baker's arrest to sentence him today based on his absence in court and several postponements of the sentencing. But LaBarbera said that he'd allow Baker to appear in court on Monday at 1:30 p.m. for his sentencing without issuing an order.