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GERING, Neb. — A surveillance video shows that a 15-year-old inmate lured a corrections officer into his cell, then strangled her, authorities said Tuesday.
The video shows the teen, Dylan Cardeilhac of Torrington, Wyo., pointing to something on the floor of his cell at the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center.
He then choked the guard, Amanda Baker, 24, from behind, according to allegations in an affidavit filed in county court.
Cardeilhac, who appeared Tuesday in Scotts Bluff County Court, was charged with first-degree murder and ordered held without bail. He had been awaiting trial in connection with the robbery of a convenience store.
The affidavit says the attack on Baker occurred about 2 a.m. Friday and took 2 minutes, 37 seconds. The video “clearly shows that (Cardeilhac) had talked Amanda into coming into the room to look at something on the floor,” a sheriff's investigator said.
At one point, the video shows Baker with her back to Cardeilhac before he jumped on her back and began choking her.
The two fall to the ground, with Baker on her stomach and with Cardeilhac's arms wrapped around her head and neck.
After Baker lost consciousness, Cardeilhac continued choking her for about 90 seconds until she went limp, the investigator said.
After the attack, the investigator said, Cardeilhac took the keys off Baker's belt and left his cell, opening and entering cells that housed other juvenile offenders. He eventually was found hiding in another cell and placed in isolation.
A corrections officer found Baker as he walked past a hallway leading to the cells and noticed that many cell doors were open, the investigator said. The officer secured the open cells and found Cardeilhac while radioing for help.
One corrections officer grabbed smelling salts for Baker, who was unconscious but breathing, and another administered CPR until ambulance workers arrived.
Baker, who was taken to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, never regained consciousness. She was put on life support so her organs could be donated for transplant. She died Sunday.
County Attorney Doug Warner said the jail's policy is for at least two guards to be present before entering an inmate's cell, but Baker “may have been too trusting.”
Baker was a student at Western Nebraska Community College and hoped to continue her career in Wyoming. Ron Johns, director of the jail, called Baker “a very warm, very caring person who loved people and loved her job.”
The employees at the detention center “have just been trying to get through the days” since the attack, Johns said. The staff has been heartened by an outpouring of support from dozens of law enforcement agencies and corrections centers, he said.
“We've had emails from Canada, New York, Texas and just all across the country,” Johns said. “It's great to have that support. You don't feel so alone and we're hearing from people who understand just what we're going through.”
Born in Newberg, Ore., Baker was a 2008 graduate of Scottsbluff High School. She is survived by her 6-year-old son David Baker II; mother and stepfather Julie and Randy Baszler of Minatare, Neb.; brothers Isaiah and Noah Baker; and sister Cassie Baker of Scottsbluff. She was preceded in death by her father, David Baker.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. (MST) Saturday at Monument Bible Church, 4124 Ave. I, in Scottsbluff.
Donations to help Baker's family with expenses are being accepted at any Platte Valley Bank location. Checks should be made out to the “Amanda Baker Memorial.”
World-Herald staff writer David Hendee contributed to this report.
Amanda Baker was a light in our world that was blown out much too early. At the age of 24, she was a loving mother and a cherished daughter and sister. With a great sense of humor and a smile that took over her whole face, any room would brighten when she entered. She was furthering her education and was working to getting her credentials to become a nurse at the Torrington (Wyo.) Correctional Facility. Amanda was trying to make the very best life she could for herself and her 6-year-old son. Amanda had a great inner strength and she will be greatly missed by her family, friends and co-workers. In the words of her son, “She was the greatest mother ever.”