(Anchorage, AK) – Tuesday, an Anchorage jury convicted 31-year-old Christopher Baines of two counts of first-degree robbery, six counts of third-degree assault (including three assaults on police officers), one count of first-degree vehicle theft, one count of first-degree failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, one count of first-degree criminal trespass, one count of reckless driving, three counts of second-degree criminal trespass, one count of third-degree theft, and one count of fourth-degree theft. Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton also found Baines guilty of third-degree weapons misconduct.
The evidence at trial showed that on or about March 25, 2018, Anchorage Police Department (APD) officers responded to a report of vehicle tampering and shots fired near Fairweather Loop. Officers contacted the victim, Todd Pulis. Pulis stated he had confronted a man tampering with his vehicle in front of his home. The suspect, subsequently identified as Defendant Christopher Baines, was back at a gray GMC pickup when confronted by Pulis. After being confronted by Pulis, Baines pulled out a Glock 10 mm handgun and pointed it at Pulis’ face, causing Pulis to back away in fear. As Pulis was backing away, he believed Baines may have been reaching for the gun a second time, which caused Pulis to pull out his own gun and fire three shots at the vehicle’s tires. Baines then drove away in the truck. Pulis noted his vehicle driver’s door lock was damaged, his center console contents had been removed, and he was missing various items. Officers then discovered that Baines had broken into and stolen multiple items from the vehicle of one of Pulis’ neighbors, Randall Hawk.
Testimony further revealed that officers were advised a caller reported seeing a man matching Baines’ description in an adjacent neighborhood with a gun. Separately, Antonio Fullwood, another resident in the neighborhood, testified that he received a message about a man breaking into a vehicle. Fullwood confronted the man, subsequently identified as Baines, who was tampering with his ignition. Baines then pointed a gun at his face, told him to back up, and left. The GMC pickup, subsequently identified as a stolen vehicle, was then reported to be at 324 Lynwood Drive.
Officers located the vehicle backed into a carport at 324 Lynwood Drive and blocked it in with multiple patrol vehicles. Baines was ordered to stop but instead started the vehicle and rammed multiple patrol cruisers in an attempt to flee. Officers Koch, Hooyer, and Freitag had to quickly move out of the way to avoid being struck by the vehicle being driven by Baines.
A few minutes later, officers learned the vehicle had been spotted near Bed, Bath & Beyond and Value Village on Dimond Boulevard. The evidence at trial showed that a witness reported seeing the driver of the vehicle put on a reflective vest and walk away. Officers responded and located Baines on 82nd Avenue, behind Bed, Bath & Beyond, wearing a reflective vest. Baines approached a vehicle occupied by Neil Smith and asked him for a ride. Smith declined and Baines brandished a handgun, placing Smith in fear of being shot. Smith accelerated away and observed APD pull up moments later. Officers detained Baines without further incident. A black 10mm Glock handgun was found 10 to 20 feet from Baines on the ground. Pulis and Fullwood later identified Baines at a show up. Pulis further identified the handgun.
Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton presided over the trial. Sentencing is scheduled for October 31, 2019. Baines faces up to 20 years in jail for each of the robbery convictions, up to five years in jail for each of the assault, vehicle theft, failure to stop, and weapons misconduct charges, and up to one year in jail for each of the misdemeanor charges.