Whatever went down last week at the Miramar, Fla., house party happened in another room, and DeAndre Baker barely caught a glimpse of it. Why? Because he was playing “Madden.” This is the latest defense of the Giants cornerback accused of serious crimes that, if found guilty, could detonate his NFL career. “Far from an …
Whatever went down last week at the Miramar, Fla., house party happened in another room, and DeAndre Baker barely caught a glimpse of it.
Because he was playing “Madden.”
This is the latest defense of the Giants cornerback accused of serious crimes that, if found guilty, could detonate his NFL career.
“Far from an individual who’s going somewhere with an alleged intent to rob somebody, an armed robbery, to go there and hook up his ‘Madden’ game, play the game for over an hour and then leave it there and go home,’’ Patrick Patel, one of Baker’s attorneys, told The Post on Tuesday.
The picture increasingly portrayed by Patel and Bradford Cohen, also representing Baker, is of a 22-year-old who is being targeted because of his fame and wealth as an NFL football player.
Baker is facing four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault stemming from an alleged incident last Wednesday night. Baker could be facing a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison for each of the four armed robbery charges.
Baker, who spent Saturday night in the Broward County jail, posted bond of $200,000 and was released Sunday.
Monday afternoon, Baker entered pleas of not guilty on all eight charges against him. Cohen filed the written pleas to Broward County Circuit Court.
On Tuesday, Judge Mariya Weekes ruled Baker does not have to turn his gun over to the state, and Patel will keep it locked up. A motion was filed to allow Baker to return to New Jersey for work purposes whenever it is safe to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Patel said he expects that will be granted
The arrest warrant stated Baker and Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar stole more than $12,000 in cash and expensive designer watches, and that Baker pointed a gun at a victim and told an unidentified masked assailant to shoot someone walking into the party.
Patel says all of this is patently false. He told The Post on Monday he expects the case will be dismissed sometime soon.
Patel revealed Tuesday he has affidavits from three additional independent witnesses — “upstanding citizens that have no stake in the game’’ — backing Baker’s innocence.
Patel said Baker arrived at the party carrying his “Madden” console, two controllers and a charger. He went into the house, hooked the game up to a big-screen TV and played the video game for the hour to hour-and-a-half he was there. Baker inadvertently left the game at the house. Patel said he will try to get electronic proof Baker was indeed logged in and playing “Madden” that night.
“And this ruckus blows out in another room in this house,’’ Patel said. “He doesn’t have anything to do with the ruckus. He didn’t even see it. The only thing he sees is out of the corner of his eye a table getting flipped over and everybody running, screaming and yelling. And he’s out. Thank God he bounced.’’
Patel said he is in the process of procuring video evidence to debunk the arrest warrant’s contention Baker’s car was “pre-positioned’’ for a quick getaway. The video would show Baker was in the passenger seat of his car — another 22-year-old was serving as Baker’s designated driver for the night — and waited in line until several cars passed through a security checkpoint in the gated community before exiting the complex.
Based on the time stamp when Baker’s car passed through the gate, Patel believes he will be able to prove it took at least two hours for anyone at the party to call the police.
“You’re robbed at armed gunpoint and you’re gonna wait two hours to call the police?’’ Patel said. “It’s a shame the kid’s life is ruined at this point in time and he’s got to fight his way out of this. But it just gets worse and worse and worse, this whole story. It’s disgusting.’’
Patel said Baker was wagering on the outcome of the “Madden” contests but that there is no credence whatsoever that Baker a few days earlier lost $70,000 while gambling and was playing dice the night of the alleged incident. There are bank records, Patel said, showing Baker withdrew $1,500 in cash two days before the party.
“He absolutely, positively, 100 percent guarantees he didn’t gamble no $70,000, didn’t gamble at all with this group prior or during this whole issue,’’ Patel said.
Baker has a permit to carry a gun but did not have it on him the night of the party.
“They want to completely dramatize this thing by saying he had a gun on him,’’ Patel said. “Unfortunately, he’s the target man there. He’s the scapegoat. He’s the most famous, successful person at the party. So that’s the guy you’re going to finger because we can get the most money from him if we charge him.’’