Katrina Baker says husband Terry Baker refuses to sign temporary separation agreement

The wife of Washington Couty Commissioners President Terry L. Baker, Katrina N. Baker, confirmed with A Miner Detail that despite agreeing to a temporary separation agreement during a July 26 Washington County District Court hearing related to domestic violence, her husband, Terry Baker, refuses to comply with a previously agreed-upon separation agreement.

Mrs. Bakers claims that her husband has not signed the temporary agreement that was discussed at the July 26 protective order hearing at the Washington County District Court building in downtown Hagerstown.

A Miner Detail received an emailed copy of the Bakers’ temporary separation agreement and immediately reached out to Katrina Baker for comment.

“I only withdrew my petition for a protective order on July 26 because Terry and his attorney, Bruce Poole, promised that Terry would sign a temporary separation agreement with me. He said he would comply with the terms we outlined and both agreed upon,” Katrina Baker told A Miner Detail.

“Terry still won’t sign the agreement and now we’re back at square one. We have no agreement in place,” Mrs. Baker said.

Washington County attorney Joseph S. Michael assisted Mrs. Baker with drafting a temporary separation agreement, which Mrs. Baker, again, said influenced her to withdraw the protection order against her husband and not file criminal assault charges in West Virginia.

(Joseph Michael also serves as the deputy state’s attorney in the Washington County Attorney’s Office.)

“We had a verbal agreement in place that my attorney, Kelly Clopper, and Bruce Poole reviewed on July 26. It was made clear that Terry understood the terms outlined and discussed in the separation agreement,” Mrs. Baker said.

However, Mrs. Baker said, “Terry now refuses to sign or abide by the separation agreement I thought we had in place.” Mrs. Baker’s temporary agreement was notarized on August 21.

Mrs. Baker has since filed for divorce in Washington County Circuit Court and has retained the law firm Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C. to represent her in the matter.

When reached for comment on Monday, Mr. Baker’s attorney, D. Bruce Poole, wrote in an email that “some of Mrs. Baker’s claims are not true,” apparently referring to her “complaint for absolute divorce or in the alternative, for limited divorce,” and said that he drafted an “Answer,” which he will file next week.

“Ryan-I am headed out to a law conference and won’t be back in until next Monday. I have not had the chance to speak with Terry. I have drafted an Answer, which will be filed next week. It tells Mr. Baker’s side of the story pretty well. I am certain that some of Mrs. Baker’s claims are not true. I hope you will wait to read Terry’s Answer,” Poole wrote. 

A Miner Detail will publish Bruce Poole’s response when filed.

Mrs. Baker maintains that her husband physically assaulted her at their Pocahontas County, W.Va. home on July 8 and later verbally abused her on July 12 at their home in Clear Spring.

Katrina Baker called 911 on July 12 after an argument ensued between the couple. Three Washington County sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly thereafter at the Baker’s Clear Spring home.

She told Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Davis that her husband physically assaulted her a few days prior at their Frost, W. Va. home. Deputy Davis recommended to Mrs. Baker that she seek the help of CASA (Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused), a domestic violence center in Hagerstown that helps women and children escape domestic violence.

Mrs. Baker has not filed criminal charges against her husband in Pocahontas County, W. Va.

On July 24, Mrs. Baker filed a petition for a protection order against her husband, alleging that Terry Baker “slapped her 3 times in the face and verbally assaulted” her at their home in Frost, WV.

Kelly Clopper, a staff attorney for CASA, represented Mrs. Baker at the scheduled interim protective order hearing at Washington County District Court. Clopper told Judge Mark D. Thomas that Mrs. Baker would voluntarily withdraw her petition for a protective order against her husband after reaching a settlement “regarding marital issues.”

After the July 26 hearing concluded, Poole told A Miner Detail that his client, Mr. Baker, “did not commit the assault alleged and did not abuse his wife.”

Terry Baker is seeking reelection to his fourth term on the Board of County Commissioners.