LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - The state has rested its case in the murder trial of James Baldwin, the former Chester County dispatcher and law enforcement officer accused of killing his wife and staging an accident as a cover up.
The son of Judy Orr Baldwin was one of the last witnesses for the state. He says the night of the crash, he didn’t know anything about his mom’s alleged fall while decorating the Christmas tree.
“I got a call at work from my wife saying, mom was in a wreck, and she was at Piedmont,” said Josh Orr fighting back tears. “So I left work, I got to Piedmont and I ran through the emergency side. “I was like, “Where’s my mom Judy Orr Baldwin?’ They said, ‘We don’t have anybody named Judy Orr Baldwin.’”
An emotional Josh Orr remembers the night he learned his mom died, but says he didn’t have many answers as to what happened. He says he found Jamie Baldwin in a room at the hospital. Orr adds Teri King, a woman that a previous witness alleged was having an affair with Baldwin, was already in his room.
“I tried to ask him what happened. He wouldn’t say anything besides he just wished it was him,” said Orr.
Orr says shortly after his mom’s funeral, he went to see Baldwin again.
“I specifically asked Jamie multiple times, my mom would have called us, my mom loved me and my brother. She would have called us. My brother lived right there. I was like, ‘Jamie did my mom say anything about me and my brother - did she - when this happened?’ He didn’t say anything. I asked him again, ‘Jamie did my mom say anything about me and my brother trying to call us?’ And he got up and walked out,” Orr said.
As previously testified, Baldwin moved out of the home after Judy’s death and moved in with Teri King in late January. Orr says he moved into the Baldwin home and what he found raised concerns.
“There was some blood splatter that was in odd spots of the home,” said Orr. “There was some on the lamp shade and high on the wall.”
He says he asked Chester County Sheriff’s Office for help but didn’t get that help until a meeting when SLED got involved more than eight months after his mom’s death.
SLED agent Kristen Grant testified about that meeting - and the investigation.
Grant says while it was months later in addition to processing the home for evidence, they also looked into the Baldwin’s finances.
“An accidental death benefit policy had been obtained six months prior to Judy’s death,” said Agent Kristen Grant.
“Alright, and who was the beneficiary on that policy?” asked Deputy Solicitor Candice Lively.
“Jamie Baldwin,” said Grant.
“Had it matured at that point,” asked Lively.
“It had,” said Grant.
“What was the amount?” asked Lively.
“$25,000.” said Grant.
In cross-examination, the defense clarified Judy Baldwin took out the policy and named Jamie Baldwin as the beneficiary.
Friday afternoon, jurors also saw an interview in which a SLED Agent Grant and former Chester County Detective Chris Reynolds talked to Baldwin after he had been indicted about how his story had changed over time and questioned him as to whether he and Judy had been arguing about his alleged relationship with Teri King. Baldwin denied that.
When questioned about whether something “happened in that house,” Baldwin said, “I’d never lay a hand on my wife.”
Friday’s testimony also revealed investigators never got access to the step-ladder Judy Baldwin allegedly fell off because Baldwin says it was burned in a fire, so he took it to the dump.
Several witnesses, including Josh Orr, testified in court this week that Judy Baldwin wouldn’t climb ladders because they made her uneasy.
Solicitor Lively asked Orr in court, “Have you ever seen your mom up at the top of a ladder like that?”
“No.” said Orr. “I’ve known my mom for 30 years, better than anybody in this room. My mom would not get on a ladder, ever. Ever.”
The trial will resume when the defense calls its first witness on Monday morning.