Raymond Frank Gonzales Jr., 22, who was arrested Monday on lesser charges, is now accused of killing Bonnie Baker, the Dakota County Attorney’s Office said Friday. Gonzales is being held at the Dakota County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Baker, 28, was found dead of a gunshot wound Sunday afternoon in her mobile home in Siouxland Estates in the 1500 block of Atokad Drive in South Sioux City.
DAKOTA CITY | Tammy Baker knew what sentence Raymond Gonzales Jr. would receive for killing her daughter.
Nebraska sentencing laws called for Gonzales to receive a sentence of life in prison without parole for his conviction of first-degree murder.
With that knowledge in hand, it didn’t lessen the gratitude Baker felt Thursday after hearing District Judge Paul Vaughan announce Gonzales’ sentence for the Dec. 15, 2013, shooting of Bonnie Baker.
“It was amazing,” Tammy Baker said after the hearing. “I was so glad because now we can start to heal.”
A Dakota County District Court jury found Gonzales, 23, of Sioux City, guilty in December of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. In addition to the life sentence, Vaughan sentenced Gonzales to 30-40 years in prison on the firearm charge, a sentence that state law requires be served consecutively. It may have been a moot point in this case, but Vaughan chose to sentence Gonzales well above the five-year minimum on the gun charge because of the nature of the crime.
“This was a senseless act that caused devastation to the victim’s family,” Vaughan said.
Trial evidence showed that Bonnie Baker was shot 16 times at her home in Siouxland Estates in the 1500 block of Atokad Drive, in South Sioux City.
At trial, witnesses testified that Gonzales was upset after people at a party at Baker’s home teased him about having sexual relations with Baker’s brother the night before. Several of the people who had been at the party testified that when they were driving Gonzales home, they heard him mutter, “When I light that place up, it’s going to be like a fireworks show,” and seemed to be plotting revenge against Baker’s brother.
After being taken home, Gonzales returned to Baker’s home and shot her.