W.Va. prisoner admits decades-old cold case slaying in Virginia's horse country


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WARRENTON, Virginia — A West Virginia prisoner already serving a life term pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder in the decades-old slaying of a man who managed a famed estate in Virginia's horse country.

Ronald Richard Cloud was sentenced to life in prison after entering his plea Thursday in Fauquier County Circuit Court in the 1980 New Year's Eve slaying of Brad Baker, the manager of Kinloch Farm.

Kinloch was an estate owned by relatives of Stephen Currier of the famed Currier and Ives prints and banker and philanthropist Andrew Mellon.

Cloud will be returned to West Virginia's Mount Olive Correctional Facility for kidnapping, conspiracy and sexual assault dating to 1988, according to FauquierNow (http://bit.ly/1qAhKyZ ).

In court, Cloud apologized for slaying Baker.

His attorneys were unsuccessful in their bid to exclude from trial evidence a video of Cloud's December 2012 confession to investigators.

Cloud's stepfather had been fired by Baker on the day of the shooting, which meant that Cloud's stepfather and mother would be evicted from their home.

Ronald Cloud's brother said he fired two shots from a .38-caliber handgun into Brad Baker's house during the 1980 confrontation. Ernest C. Cloud said his older brother insisted that he accompany him to Baker's house.

Baker was found with shots to his head and groin.

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