Crime

Former York police officer charged with murder for 2016 death of wife in Chester

Ex-York cop charged in wife’s Chester death

A former police officer from York, South Carolina, was denied bond Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, for the 2016 beating death of his wife in Chester. James Baldwin, 58, faces up to life in prison if convicted.
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A former police officer from York, South Carolina, was denied bond Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, for the 2016 beating death of his wife in Chester. James Baldwin, 58, faces up to life in prison if convicted.

A former police officer in South Carolina was charged with murder Tuesday for the 2016 Chester County beating death of his wife, prosecutors said.

James Harold “Jamie” Baldwin of York, who at one time was a York Police Department patrol officer, was indicted by a grand jury in Chester after an investigation that went on for more than a year and-a-half after the death of Judy Baldwin.

James Baldwin claimed that his wife was injured in a fall while putting up Christmas ornaments on Dec. 14, 2016, said Candice Lively, 6th Circuit Deputy Solicitor. James Baldwin then told police the couple were in a car crash on the way to the hospital, Lively said.

S.C. Highway Patrol troopers responded to the crash where Judy Baldwin, 53, was found dead east of Chester, officials said.

Police from the highway patrol major accident investigation team and State Law Enforcement Division agents investigated the case since Judy Baldwin’s death, Lively said. The coroner in Chester County ruled that Judy Baldwin died from “blunt force trauma,” Lively said.

“The grand jury today returned a true bill indictment of murder against Mr. Baldwin,” Lively said late Tuesday.

After the grand jury returned the indictment against Baldwin, Chester County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Baldwin. He was booked into the Chester County jail where he is being held without bond on the murder charge. Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood confirmed that detectives from his office located and arrested Baldwin.

Randy Newman, 6th Circuit Solicitor, said police worked diligently on the case.

“A thorough investigation was done and we will do our part to ensure that justice is done in this case,” Newman said.

Newman and Lively declined further comment, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Baldwin worked at the York Police Department decades ago, said Andy Robinson, York police chief.

The murder arrest is the second felony accusation against Baldwin in less than a year. Baldwin was out on bond on an arson charge at the time he was arrested Tuesday on the accusation that he killed his wife.

In 2017, Baldwin was accused of burning down his roommate’s trailer in York County, then trying to defraud the insurance company after the June 2017 fire, according to York County Sheriff’s Office records and court documents. Baldwin was arrested months later by York County deputies. Those charges remain pending, court records show.

Baldwin is being held without bond on the murder charge at the Chester County jail.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald
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