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Apartment manager sent to prison for killing girlfriend

HILLSBORO - A Washington County Circuit Court judge sentenced William Cody Brooker, 23, to eight years and four months in jail for the shooting of Christina Ann Baldwin, 24, last December at an apartment complex near King City.

Brooker pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon for the Dec. 10 shooting death of Baldwin in their apartment on Southwest Fischer Road and Pacific Highway.

The original charge, first-degree manslaughter, indicated that the District Attorney's office thought that the shooting was accidental, but that Brooker was reckless and showed "extreme indifference to the value of human life."

Baldwin on Dec. 12 plead ed not-guilty at his first arraignment hearing.

Baldwin was a student in the Cambridge College medical program in Beaverton, and Brooker was the manager of the apartment complex they lived in, the Riverwood Heights Apartments, 12070 S.W. Fischer Rd.

King City Police Officer Shane Robinson and a Washington County Deputy were the first on the scene Dec. 10.

The officers found Baldwin shot in the head and laying near the apartment's kitchen. She was taken to the hospital but later died.

A witness who had been in the apartment on the night of the shooting reported that after Baldwin asked Brooker to put down a gun he was holding, he shot her through the eye.

Deputies investigating determined that Brooker had been drinking before taking up the loaded gun.

Hours after the shooting, Brooker's blood-alcohol level was measured at .10 while the legal limit for driving under the influence of intoxicants is .08 in Oregon.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Maloney attributed the shooting to a "deadly mix" of alcohol and weapons.

A plea agreement between the prosecution and Brooker's defense attorney avoided a trial. Judge Thomas W. Kohl sentenced Brooker to an eight year, four month term.

A first-degree manslaughter conviction, if it had gone to trial, and Brooker was found guilty, carries a mandatory 10-year sentence.