- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

GERING, Neb. (AP) - A western Nebraska woman is accused of stealing and spending the tax refund of her sister, who was strangled in a cell while working as a jail guard and later died.

Cassandra Baker, 26, of Scottsbluff is charged with felony theft and with the unauthorized use of a financial device, court records say. Authorities say her sister, Amanda Baker, 24, was attacked by an inmate in February at the Scotts Bluff County Jail.

Cassandra Baker’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Thursday.

Court documents show Amanda Baker’s federal tax refund of nearly $4,300 was deposited onto a prepaid credit card used by a tax filing company, according to the Scottsbluff Star-Herald (https://bit.ly/1GsZoIj ). She had filed her federal and state tax returns for the 2013 tax year before her death.

Cassandra Baker obtained the credit card and used the money for her personal use, according to a court filing in a probate case. Her attorney says in a criminal court filing that there isn’t enough evidence to support the charges against her. An arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 14.



Dylan Cardeilhac, 16, of Torrington, Wyoming, is charged with first-degree murder for the Valentine’s Day attack on Amanda Baker. Jail security video shows Cardeilhac talking Baker into checking something on his cell floor and then pouncing on the guard when she turned her back, according to an arrest affidavit. Authorities have said the video shows that Baker was strangled for more than 2½ minutes.

Baker was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

Cardeilhac’s murder trial is set to start on Nov. 17.

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Information from: Star-Herald, https://www.starherald.com

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