• Tue. Apr 9th, 2024

Convicted killer Robert Baker says his ex-lover Monica Sementilli had no half within the homicide of her husband Fabio

Convicted killer Robert Baker says his ex-lover Monica Sementilli had no half within the homicide of her husband Fabio


It is an ungainly second sitting down with a assassin particularly if you arrive unannounced.  

Robert Baker, 61, who pleaded no contest final summer season to the 2017 Los Angeles homicide of famed hair stylist and sweetness trade govt Fabio Sementilli, 49, approached the glass that separated us with a “who the hell are you?” look on his face.

Convicted killer of famed hairstylist Fabio Sementilli says sufferer’s spouse is harmless

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As a producer for “48 Hours” who has adopted the case since 2017, I made the journey to Los Angeles’ North County Correctional Facility on March 2 to see if Baker can be prepared to share details about the brutal crime and, maybe, his alleged confederate Monica Sementilli, 52. Monica was the spouse of sufferer Fabio Sementilli, and he or she was Baker’s lover earlier than they each landed in jail, practically 5 months after the crime, accused of conspiracy to commit homicide. Their case is profiled by “48 Hours” contributor Michelle Miller in “The Monica Sementilli Affair,” airing Saturday, March 9 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Baker appeared wholesome and youthful wanting than the bedraggled determine I remembered from court docket. He had the match and muscular look one would possibly anticipate from a racquetball coach on the LA Health the place he met Monica Sementilli, a mom of two teenage daughters dwelling in a close-by, upscale L.A. neighborhood. 

As soon as I launched myself, it was Baker who provided the preliminary icebreaker to our dialog, expressing shock on the effort I had taken to search out him in that distant jail within the mountain city of Castaic. Getting there generally is a one-hour drive from L.A., and guests are solely permitted on Saturdays and Sundays. There are two separate consumption areas to go by, which includes a bus trip – to not point out safety, the place a reporter should go away pens, recorders and telephones behind.

So, the trouble had paid off, it obtained the dialog began, and earned me credibility for locating him. These conferences could be troublesome. The principle problem is we’re being recorded and the cops and prosecutors who put Baker away and have plans to place his former lover away pay attention, and presumably can and can use something he says towards him – or her – if potential. 

Nonetheless, our dialog moved alongside.  Baker had a simple extensive smile with a niche between his entrance tooth. The telephone receivers we every used had quick cords in order that saved us head to head, staring straight into one another’s eyes, from about 20 inches aside by security glass.  

Regardless of his reluctance to handle most points, deferring solutions to “when that is throughout” (that means the tip of Monica’s upcoming trial which begins April 2), he was determined about one level: Monica was not concerned within the homicide, as she is charged.  

“Monica didn’t know.  She did not know s***.  If she did discover out, I might have been in right here (jail) so much sooner,” he stated. His declare was a bombshell.  Monica, who has already spent practically six years in jail, didn’t conspire with him to kill her husband Fabio, he stated. 

Regardless of what the prosecutor characterizes as overwhelming circumstantial proof towards Monica, there isn’t any smoking gun connecting her to the conspiracy.  A reality her attorneys are banking on for a not responsible verdict at trial.

Why did Robert Baker plead responsible and not using a deal?

I requested about his resolution to plead no contest regardless of not getting a deal and accepting the sentence of life with out parole. Along with his blood and DNA on the crime scene, having reduce his finger stabbing Fabio to loss of life, Baker had little likelihood to beat the costs. However even when his probabilities at trial had been one in one million, most individuals take that shot. “Why not you?” I requested him.

baker-bandage.jpg
Rob Baker was photographed on the wake held for Fabio Sementilli on the hairdresser’s house. A bandage could be seen on the index finger of Baker’s left hand [inset]. 

48 Hours

He appeared resigned to his destiny however defined “due course of” was the explanation. A lot of our dialog shifted to facial expressions, as he was clearly reluctant to be recorded saying sure issues. I discovered myself unconsciously following his lead — and at that second, I gave him an exaggerated “What does that imply?” face.

“You assume there’s due course of?” he responded to my look, as if I used to be the naivest individual on earth to think about the prison justice system that snared him.  The phrase due course of would function his unsatisfying default reply for a lot of substantive questions. 

I requested if his plea was “a present” for Monica, which he instantly scoffed at, seemingly taking offense, as if taking place for all times might be a present.  

I identified, what he knew effectively, that for greater than 5 years Monica’s attorneys had tried many occasions to sever the circumstances towards the lovebirds into separate trials, however the decide denied them at every flip.  So, I famous when Baker pleaded no contest, voilà, because of his resolution, Monica obtained what she had been asking for, to face trial alone.  He remained dismissive.

I requested if he had met Monica in a Goal car parking zone two miles from the Sementilli house within the hours earlier than the homicide, because the prosecutor alleged, presumably to get the ‘coast is obvious’ message from Monica to assault and kill Fabio.

That allegation prompted an eyes extensive open, lips pursed, “no method” expression as he shook his head forwards and backwards. It by no means occurred, in response to him.

He complained about that and different prosecution proof. The truth that he and Monica used the encrypted apps WhatsApp and Viber to speak between themselves, or that Monica shared her household’s house safety system’s personal log-in credentials with him. So what? he requested.

I identified that whereas hundreds of thousands of People did use encrypted apps and accessed house safety methods remotely, an goal individual, say, a juror, would possibly effectively discover it suspicious that the lovers shared these previous to Fabio’s homicide. Baker remained indignant that these info might be used towards him or Monica.

What about his Fb messages with a good friend the place Baker stated, “No not but dwelling along with her [Monica] however it’s coming quickly.”  As soon as once more, Baker shrugged that off, “only a dialog between pals.” That rationalization put the incredulous “Huh?” look on my face. 

“Only a dialog between pals,” he repeated with a shrug and a “that is all” expression. He simply didn’t appear to get the prosecutor’s level {that a} dialog between pals is exactly what was so revealing, and probably incriminating  notably as a result of he murdered Fabio quickly after.

Robert Baker’s sentence: Life with out parole

I turned the dialog to his sentencing listening to the place quite a few relations assailed him for taking away Fabio, a person so liked by two daughters, a son, two sisters and an immense household and circle of pals.  

Robert Baker at his sentencing.
Robert Baker at his sentencing.

KCBS/Pool

“Heartbreaking,” he repeated a couple of occasions, “heartbreaking.” Baker had cried through the listening to, maybe when Monica’s daughters testified. What they might have seen as crocodile tears decidedly didn’t make an impression on the devastated relations and pals.

I requested if that emotion on the listening to meant he wished to apologize to Fabio’s household. He provided nothing in reply simply repeating, “heartbreaking.”  “I am not the monster,” he stated, his voice trailing off earlier than I may hear a completed thought. 

At that time, I needed to interject, explaining that I had seen the post-mortem report. Fabio had been viciously stabbed seven occasions, three separate wounds every deemed deadly as very important arteries had been focused. A beloved father, brother, son, good friend, ambushed and slaughtered and not using a likelihood to defend himself.

Fabio Sementilli
Fabio Sementilli

Instagram

“I do know, I do know,” he stated, dropping his head with out assembly my eyes. He stated solely very not too long ago had he seen the crime scene photographs of Fabio – “the gore and violence of the homicide juxtaposed with the backdrop: Fabio’s chair, the place his household remembers him smoking cigars, “Large Daddy” baseball cap on his head, conducting enterprise, and having fun with life in his favourite area – the again patio.  

It was Fabio’s then 16-year-old daughter who would discover his physique – too heavy as deadweight for her to even flip him over.  

Will Robert Baker testify at Monica Sementilli’s trial?     

Earlier in our dialog, Baker conceded that he had not too long ago been assembly with Monica’s protection attorneys. Ostensibly, they’re sizing Baker up for the likelihood that he would possibly testify at Monica’s trial and drop that aforementioned bombshell on the jurors: that Monica was not concerned, that she had no data, that she by no means suspected her lover because the killer.

Baker instructed me he doesn’t know whether or not he’ll testify or not.

I requested if he wished to testify “for her?” For the second time, he took offense. “I might not do it for her,” he stated. “It will be to inform the reality.”

The concept that he would possibly testify was heralded by her protection legal professionals as a case nearer.

“We’re assured that Robert Baker’s responsible plea and his truthful testimony will lastly set up as soon as and for all that Monica Sementilli had nothing to do with the planning or the homicide of Fabio Sementilli, her husband,” stated veteran L.A. prison protection legal professional Leonard Levine after Baker’s sentencing.

Authorized specialists that “48 Hours” spoke to had been extra circumspect. They acknowledged the ability of that potential testimony. Additionally they identified a jury is perhaps skeptical after a withering cross-examination and an exploration of Baker’s background. Baker’s testimony represented a dangerous proposition, they reasoned — possible too dangerous. 

Background was a query Baker raised. I responded that I used to be conscious of his appearing expertise within the trade — the porn trade. Baker nodded his approval at my analysis. It appeared odd, as if — like so many individuals that reporters take care of in Hollywood — Baker was asserting, ‘I used to be an actor you already know,’ fairly than displaying unease with the courtroom optics of pornography.

Our time was restricted, so I selected to not increase his prison background, a conviction for having intercourse with a minor, his teenage stepdaughter, who would marry him after his launch from jail within the Nineteen Nineties and enter the pornography world, doing films with Baker. It gave the impression to be a tangent.

Monica Sementilli and Robert Baker
Monica Sementilli and Robert Baker in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles County Superior Court docket

Somewhat, I wished to debate the prosecution’s declare that Monica was main a double life after Fabio’s homicide.  Prosecutors alleged she was expressing an outward look by social media that she was deeply in grief over the lack of her husband, whereas police concurrently, surreptitiously documented a secretive, fun-filled romance with Baker — the killer.  

Baker selected to not shrug off this accusation, insisting that Monica’s grief over Fabio’s homicide was intense and honest. As validation, he provided that the 2 had been now not in touch and that she cursed him along with her parting phrases, “Assassin motherf*****,” yelled throughout a hallway in lock up. He was alleging that when Monica discovered Baker was the killer, she dropped him, however he didn’t say when.

Monica Sementilli letter
A letter from Monica Sementilli despatched to Robert Baker in jail signed, “Love, your wifey … Monica Baker ’til loss of life”

Los Angeles County Superior Court docket

One other bombshell, the declare that their relationship was now over, as court docket paperwork had revealed 2017 love letters signed “your wifey… Monica Baker ’til loss of life,” despatched in jail. When a sheriff’s deputy all of the sudden appeared, Baker turned and left, ending our interview abruptly.   

Outdoors I waited for my bus subsequent to an indication that learn “Watch out for Mountain Lions, Do Not Go away Kids Unattended.”  Relishing the contemporary, crisp, mountain air, I mirrored on a full of life, but guarded, dialog that yielded glimpses of candor whether or not intentional or inadvertent from a assassin.  



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