Two more suspects, both young men, have been have arrested in the Memorial Day murder of Preston Royal resident Leslie Squair Baker while she was parked in the driveway of her home.
Police are saying the incident was an apparent carjacking. The assailants fired at Baker as she told a friend on the phone, “I’m being robbed” and tried to back away from her assailants.
CandysDirt.com has also learned that one of the young men, Deng Chen Ajack, 19, was arrested and placed on deferred adjudication after a March 10, 2019, aggravated robbery when he pulled a woman down a flight of stairs by her hair, threatening her with a gun.
Baker was fatally wounded about 5 p.m. May 25 when she arrived at her home in the 6100 block of Royalton Drive, just north of Royal Lane. Her family was in the house at the time. Police responding observed her slumped and shot in her car, and she was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead about a half-hour later.
Leslie Baker, age 59, was the mother of two college-age children, Dallas Police confirmed. Her husband, Robert H. Baker, is a real estate broker. Baker worked as a marketing executive at Texas Healthcare Resources in Plano.
Quick and deft detective work by the Dallas Police had one suspect, a 16-year old minor, in custody by Wednesday, and four others under arrest.
Neighbors’ surveillance cameras helped police tremendously in nabbing the assailants. One camera recorded the gunshots, and others showed a silver Nissan sedan block Baker’s car in her driveway, then speed off after the shooting.
That car was scanned at a tollbooth on the Dallas North Tollway shortly after the shooting, according to the affidavit, and police said it was driven to a business parking lot on Ferguson Road in Far East Dallas. Surveillance footage showed Ajack, Taylor, and a juvenile male getting out of the car.
Deng Chen Ajack, 19, and Antony Isaiah Taylor, 18, now face one count each of capital murder in Baker’s murder. Ajack was given deferred adjudication by Judge Anthony Randall for a first-degree felony in March of 2019.
Detectives linked the gun that was used to kill Baker through casings to another shooting that same night:
In that case, a Lyft driver was dropping off passengers along East R.L. Thornton Freeway in Far East Dallas when a silver Nissan Sentra drove by. One of the passengers appeared to recognize the car’s driver, a young man with dreadlocks who fired several shots at the Lyft driver’s vehicle.
The driver later identified Taylor in a photo lineup as the man who shot at his vehicle, the affidavit says.
Taylor turned himself in to authorities Thursday and spoke to detectives with his lawyer present.
He said that Ajack and the juvenile, who was driving the Nissan, picked him up May 25 and that the juvenile had a gun, the affidavit says. Taylor said that he posed with the gun next to the car and that the three were driving around and smoking marijuana. He didn’t know of a plan to rob Baker, he said.
Taylor claims he was in the car as he heard the gunshots, after the juvenile parked behind Baker’s car and approached Leslie. He ducked down in the back seat, Ajack moved to the driver’s seat. The three then drove off after the juvenile got back into the car.
Taylor also said he cut off his dreadlocks two days after the murder, because he was going to get a job.
Police wrote in the affidavit that they didn’t believe Taylor’s claim of ignorance about committing a robbery, citing the shooting later that night as well as a carjacking in Richardson the following day in which authorities say he, Ajack and the juvenile also were involved.
Taylor has been booked into the Dallas County jail last week. He faces a charge of aggravated assault related to the second shooting, and his bail is set at $850,000.