‘A.J.’ Baker reaches plea deal
Former Gov. Charlie Baker’s son, Andrew “A.J.” Baker, has struck a plea deal after he was arrested and charged with drunk driving on Interstate 95 earlier this month.
The 29-year-old South Boston resident — who allegedly blew a 0.152, almost double the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08 — admitted to sufficient facts to warrant a guilty finding in court on Tuesday.
The conditions of A.J.’s plea deal include: losing his license for 45 days; mandatory participation in the first-time offender 24D alcohol education program (16 weeks, $250 cost paid by the defendant); $350 in other fees; and the case continued without a finding for a one-year probationary period, ending next May 28.
“This is, by far, the most common disposition for first-time offenders,” Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker said in a statement.
This plea deal was the outcome in 83% of similar cases involving first-time offenders in Essex County during the past year, which includes a backlog of resolutions in COVID-delayed cases.
A.J. was accused of driving drunk while heading down 95 South in Lynnfield on Saturday night, May 13.
A Mass State Police trooper at 8:15 p.m. responded to the highway, before Walnut Street in Lynnfield, where Peabody police officers had stopped a Volkswagen Jetta after following it from Route 114. Another motorist had told Peabody police that the Jetta was being driven erratically.
A.J., the driver of the Jetta, told police that he had been golfing before they encountered him on the highway.
“During my initial contact I could smell the odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, his eyes were also glassy, bloodshot and his speech was a bit slurred,” Trooper Kyle Holmes wrote in the police report. “I then asked Baker if he had anything to drink and he stated that he did.”
The former governor’s son was asked to perform field sobriety tests in the breakdown lane of I-95. Baker failed all three standard tests, police said.
A.J. appeared in Peabody District Court on Tuesday alongside his attorney, Kevin Mitchell of Boston. Mitchell had said in open court during Baker’s arraignment on May 15 that he was hoping to resolve the case before the pre-trial hearing, which was scheduled for June 14.
The plea and conditions were accepted by Judge James Barretto, the same judge who presided over A.J.’s arraignment.
A.J. in the past was in the spotlight for an alleged crime on an airplane.
In 2018, while his father was governor, A.J. was accused of sexual assault on a JetBlue flight from D.C. to Boston Logan International Airport. He was accused of inappropriately touching a 29-year-old woman who was sitting next to him on the plane. That case was never prosecuted.