Commonwealth v. Calvin Robert Baker; Two Dogs Killed in Arson of Defendant’s Own Home; 20 Years to Serve

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Calvin Robert Baker, 31 years old, previously residing in the 5900 block of Beechwalk Drive in Virginia Beach, Virginia was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick for Arson of a Dwelling.   Judge Padrick sentenced Baker to 40 years in the Department of Corrections with 20 years suspended, leaving Baker 20 years to serve.  Baker pled guilty on June 20, 2011. 

Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proved that on February 28, 2011, Calvin Baker was living with his mother on Beechwalk Drive in the City of Virginia Beach.  Shortly after noon, Baker poured gasoline on clothing that was on the floor of a bedroom closet.  There were two dogs confined in a pen inside this bedroom.  Baker then lit the gasoline-soaked clothing on fire and left the home.  His mother returned to the home shortly thereafter and discovered that the house was filled with smoke.  The fire department responded and extinguished the fire, which had burned clothing and the floor of the bedroom closet.  The two trapped dogs died as a result of the fire.  When interviewed by investigators with the Virginia Beach Fire Department, Baker confessed to setting the fire.

Gordon’s prior criminal record includes convictions for Destruction of Property, Driving Under the Influence, and Urinating in Public.


Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Catherine Dodson prosecuted the case.  Please call Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.