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Man sentenced to life in prison for 2011 stabbing murder of Oakdale nanny

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A Washington County jury needed two hours Friday to come up with a guilty verdict against Thomas Fox in the brutal stabbing murder of Lori Baker, an Oakdale nanny.

As the Star Tribune reports, jurors heard a week of testimony before reading the verdict, and Judge Greg Galler immediately sentenced Fox, 46, to spend the rest of his life in prison on his conviction for premeditated first-degree murder.

Fox had said in a recorded interview with police played at his trial that he did not kill Baker, he just found her body, the AP reports. Baker, 39, employed as a nanny for two children, was found dead in her Oakdale apartment on Dec. 28, 2011.

Earlier, the Star Tribune had reported some gruesome details of the murder, including that the prosecution said Fox stabbed Baker 48 times during a prolonged struggle in her Oakdale apartment and then made dozens of withdrawals on her debit card. Baker's employer found her.

The Strib also says Fox has been in and out of prison for years on robbery, theft and drug charges. He was being held in Stillwater Prison on an unrelated charge until August. He had been under house arrest at a halfway house in St. Paul but walked away during the time Baker was killed.

A year ago the paper reported that several fellow inmates of Fox's had come forward fingering him for the murder, breaking a jailhouse code of silence on snitching.

Several news outlets have referred to Fox as Baker's "boyfriend," and that they had been seeing each other up to the murder. Fox had scoured the apartment with laundry detergent, and got rid of a good chunk of evidence, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. His defense attorney criticized the state's lack of physical evidence putting Fox at the murder scene -- they had no bloody clothes, no murder weapon or arguable DNA evidence.

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