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A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a Madison man on a kidnapping charge after authorities said he carjacked a Madison woman in April and forced her to drive to Indiana, where he was later arrested.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Madison, Marvin Baker, 42, faces up to life in prison on the kidnapping charge. Madison police said that on April 19, Baker was arrested in Indiana after he jumped into a 46-year-old woman’s car on Madison’s East Side and forced her to drive him “south,” ending up in Indiana.

Baker is expected to appear in federal court on Thursday.

A few days earlier, police said, Baker was suspected of carjacking a 22-year-old woman in her vehicle at a Downtown intersection, telling her to drive him to an ATM and withdraw money. He ordered her to drive to the East Side and forced her out of the car, then drove away, police said.

According to federal court records, Baker was convicted of bank robbery in 2006 and was in prison until his release in January. A petition filed in April by Baker’s federal supervision agent states that he was adjusting badly to life out of prison and was homeless and working sporadically in the four months between January and April.

Kicked out of shelter

U.S. Probation Officer Kristin Kiel wrote that Baker was to spend days at the Beacon, a Madison day resource center that connects people with social services, and nights at the Grace Episcopal Church shelter for homeless men. But Baker was kicked out of the shelter for behavioral problems, and had difficulty keeping a job because he continued to use drugs and alcohol, Kiel wrote.

Under conditions of his supervision, Baker was not to use drugs or alcohol but tested positive for alcohol and substances that included amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine.

At the time that Kiel filed her report with the court on April 17, Baker had been suspected only of committing the April 16 carjacking. A warrant had already been issued for Baker’s arrest before the April 19 carjacking occurred.

Madison police and Indiana authorities said after Baker’s arrest that the woman involved in the April 19 carjacking told them that Baker displayed a black handgun and said she wouldn’t be hurt if she did what he said.

About 4 p.m. that day, police said, the woman told Baker she needed to use the bathroom, so they stopped at a convenience store in Wheatfield, Indiana, about 40 miles southeast of Gary. When the woman went back to the car she locked the door, drove away and called 911. She told police that as she drove away she saw Baker in her rearview mirror go to another car where he convinced another woman to give him a ride.

Baker was found by police and arrested about five hours later in Clark County, Indiana, near the Kentucky border.

In 2006, Baker pleaded guilty to the April 7, 2005 robbery of the Anchor Bank at 420 W. Verona Ave. in Verona. He did not use a weapon during the robbery, but U.S. District Judge John Shabaz said that he gave a teller a note that threatened violence. Shabaz agreed that Baker had a “horrendous” childhood — which Baker’s attorney described as full of beatings with extension cords in a foster home and parents who showed him no love — but declined to cut his sentence on that basis.

“Yes, we are here to protect other people and there are many other people out there that are not protected from Mr. Baker,” Shabaz said at the 2006 sentencing hearing. “And, yes, he is swell now and perhaps has been since the day of the occurrence. That doesn’t tell this court that after a lifetime of crime that he is going to mend his ways and continue to be law-abiding thereafter.”

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Ed Treleven is the courts reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.