By John Lauritsen

BUFFALO, Minn. (WCCO) — One punch took a man’s life. Friday, the man who threw that punch learned his punishment.

On the morning of May 2 last year, one punch by Alex Tumoisto to the side of Adam Baker’s head would ultimately end Baker’s life, and change Tuomisto’s forever.

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Wright County judge Kathleen Mottl gave Tumoisto a five-year prison sentence.

“Disappointed. We were really hoping this was something the judge realized he did not intend to do in terms of the result,” said Tuomisto’s attorney, Francis Rondoni.

That’s something everyone in a packed courtroom seemed to agree on — that Tuomisto did not intend to kill Adam Baker. It was a reason why a plea bargain was reached in February, but because of the end result, Baker’s family and the prosecution thought prison was appropriate.

As Tuomisto’s dad left the courtroom, he said his family is heart-broken.

“Alex is a good man and it was just a terrible situation. At another time and situation, Adam Baker and my son may have been best friends,” said Pete Tuomisto.

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While Tuomisto’s family shed tears, Adam Baker’s family and prosecutor Tom Kelly said they supported the Judge’s sentence.

“In my opinion, there is no self defense when you just attack someone. That just doesn’t fly,” said Kelly.

In emotional testimony before the judge, Laurie Roufs described Baker as the love of her life. She said they planned on starting a family together. After the sentencing, she said she talked with Tuomisto’s mom for the first time.

“I told Alex’s mother that when he gets out, I hope he does something truly wonderful with his life because that would make Adam happy,” said Roufs.

While Tuomisto may not have meant to kill Baker, Kelly said he did intend to hurt him and this is the unfortunate result of that.

The packed courtroom, which spilled out into the hallway at the Wright County Government Center, was the largest either attorney or Judge Kathleen Mottl had ever seen.

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Because of the circumstances surrounding this case, Judge Mottl commented during the hearing that, “in the end, no one really wins in a case like this.”

John Lauritsen