Man gets 18 years for NYE stabbing

A Dana Point man was sentenced Friday to 18 years and eight months to life in state prison for murdering one man and injuring another during a New Year's Eve party in Costa Mesa, officials said.

Adam Randy Baker, 26, was found guilty in December 2012 of one felony count each of second-degree murder and attempted murder, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon, according to the district attorney's office.

According to prosecutors, while sitting outside, Baker flicked his cigarette at some passing men about 2 a.m. Jan. 1, 2011, during a party at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa hotel on Bristol Street.

Baker eventually got into a verbal argument with one of the men, and Robert Sickles, 27, of Mission Viejo, attempted to intervene.

Baker then slashed and stabbed Sickles in the chest with a knife, prosecutors said. Sickles' friend, Brian McTeigue, then 26 years old, tried to intervene.

Baker stabbed him once in the back, prosecutors said. Costa Mesa police, who were already at the hotel for an unrelated call, responded to the scene.

McTeigue, a Mission Viejo resident, and Baker were both treated at hospitals and released with nonfatal wounds. Baker had facial fractures, according to the D.A.'s office.

Sickles, an Air Force veteran, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. His ashes were later buried at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, according to Daily Pilot archives.

He had been trying to protect his brother, David Sickles, who was 21 at the time of the stabbing.

"I see my son David suffer from survivor's guilt, knowing Baker had him in his sights and that Robert was not the original target," mother Robin Sickles said in a D.A. release. "David is incredibly traumatized from witnessing his brother's death and lives every day with the haunting images from that night."

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