• Woman remembered year after death during bar fight

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A year later, family and friends of a mother of six who was killed in a bar fight said the violence needs to stop.

    Antoinette Baker was left dying on the sidewalk outside of Hartigan's Irish Pub. Her killer eventually pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, but a year after the tragedy, the family still feels like a piece of them is missing.

    "We have to wake up every day without the life of our life because Antoinette was just everything to everybody," Retina Hogue said.

    Police said last December Baker and several others were fighting in Hartigan's Irish Pub.

    The fight spilled out of the bar into the alleyway, and Antoinette Baker was stabbed to death with a beer bottle. Police ended up arresting a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus driver Katie Robinson. She eventually pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was released on probation.

    "It will always be a piece of us missing," John Rowe said.

    Baker's family and closest friends gathered Sunday night on Tryon Street, not to mourn but to celebrate the life of a woman who constantly smiled.

    "Antoinette was a person who loved to have a good time," Hogue said. "And when you were down, she would bring you up. So we decided not to have an RIP. We're going to celebrate like you're still with us."

    So they danced and smiled as they remembered the mother they lost. But, the family has also faced some serious challenges since Baker's death. They've had to explain what happened to her six children. Baker's mother is raising them with help from cousins.

    "Her kids were everything to her," Hogue said. "And we want to make sure they still feel like they're everything to somebody else."

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