Sheriff confirms death of inmate 

File photo Ipswich resident Michael Baker, 40, was found dead in his cell Tuesday at the Middleton Jail. He had been charged with carrying his ex-girlfirend into the path of a dump truck.

MIDDLETON — An Ipswich man awaiting trial on charges that he carried his ex-girlfriend into the path of a truck in Gloucester in April was found dead in his cell at the Middleton Jail Tuesday, the sheriff confirmed.

Michael Baker, 40, of 33 Rosewood Drive, was being held at the facility following a mental health evaluation that had been ordered after the April 19 incident. 

Baker was indicted earlier this month on charges of attempted murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was facing a potential 20-year prison term. 

On Tuesday at around 2 p.m., he was found dead in his cell, Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger said.

While the Essex County district attorney's office and state police assigned to that office are investigating, Coppinger said no foul play is suspected at this point. Carrie Kimball, a spokeswoman for the Essex district attorney's office, said the death appears to be a suicide.  

Baker was housed in unit 120B, a standard housing unit at the jail. 

Baker and the woman were arguing over custody of a 7-year-old girl when Baker suddenly picked up the woman and carried her into the path of an oncoming dump truck on Washington Street in Gloucester.

Baker and the woman were both injured in the incident and he ended up being flown to a Boston hospital for treatment.

Baker told police that he suffered from bipolar disorder, blaming the illness for his impulsive action that day.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

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