Fricke sentenced to life without parole for 2020 murder, kidnapping, burglary, assault


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — William Fricke, the man found guilty of murder and more felony charges, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday.

Fricke, a Fairport resident, was convicted of killing Julianne Baker and stabbing attorney Dennis Gruttadar in Canandaigua back in January of 2020 when Fricke kidnapped and killed Baker, and attempted to kill Gruttadar.

Fricke, was found guilty on all charges back in April, including first degree murder, first degree kidnapping, first degree burglary, first degree attempted murder, and first degree assault.

Family of Baker were present for Fricke’s sentencing and her daughters addressed the courtroom. Fricke also spoke to the court before his sentence was handed down.

Baker was killed after being found with multiple stab wounds at a friend’s Canandaigua residence on County Road 16, near Peg Rayburn Drive and Butler Road on Jan. 2, 2020. Gruttadar was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital via Mercy Flight for treatment that day.

Fricke was later taken into custody in Irondequoit, about an hour after the crime. Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson said Fricke was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not occur during the arrest.

Henderson said Fricke and Baker had a longstanding relationship of about 10 years when the crime was committed.

Jillian Baker and her sisters this morning—- said the sentencing of William Fricke was important…the actual trial they feel didn’t humanize her mother. 

“It didn’t explain who she was when she was alive. Only the manner in which she was murdered,” says Jillian Baker.

The outpouring of love they say from the community, tremendous. They all got a chance to show the court who Julie Baker really was. 

“She was just loved by so many, just everyone she met,” says Clare Baker.

Fricke they say sitting silently– just like at the last court date, —showing no remorse. “So we knew that he was a bad person, and we think that has been obvious throughout this entire trial,” says Jillian.

The sisters say they tried to warn their mother about Fricke, and what they thought he was capable of. 

“She loved so hard…and she was so welcoming to him, and kept giving him chances to be a good person, but he’s not capable of that,” says Jillian.

They say the sentencing today, a victory not just for their mom, but for women who have endured, —-or not survived— harmful relationships. 

“Women who have been murdered…women who have been abused and not believed,” says Jillian.

Jim Gleason, a coworker of Baker’s, says she left an impression on everybody, and had a beaming smile.

“It’s indelible sometimes when people leave impressions on you in a positive way such as that and she was like that,” Gleason said. “Never would I imagine there were any issues I didn’t know about because whenever she would enter a room at an event — we’ve done a lot together and spent a lot of time planning — it was always very cheerful and positive.”

Gleason has been working with the family, and Willow Domestic Violence Center to organize a company golf tournament this summer on August 2 in her honor. Gleason hopes this tournament will live on for years, carrying her legacy.

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