Former Bagby Restaurant Group CEO's trial postponed as lawyer works toward plea deal

A criminal trial involving former Bagby Restaurant Group CEO Chris Becker for an alleged break-in was postponed this week as his attorneys pursue a plea agreement.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Cox postponed the trial until April 4 at the request of Becker’s attorney, Joseph Murtha. Becker is facing burglary and theft charges.

The request was made as Murtha seeks more time to come to a resolution with Bagby’s lawyers, he said.

“At this point, there’s nothing firm, but there’s discussions going on,” Murtha said on Wednesday.

Becker declined to comment on the trial. Henry Andrews, the listed attorney for Bagby in the case, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Murtha said he also asked for postponement because Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Lippe continues to investigate possible criminal embezzlement charges against Becker related to a civil lawsuit Bagby filed in 2017. Lippe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If embezzlement charges are filed, Murtha said he hopes all of the criminal charges can be handled in a single case.

Becker was CEO of the Towson-based group from 2014 to January 2017. Led by president Blake Smith, Bagby owns the Towson restaurants Cunningham’s and Cunningham’s Café & Bakery. In January, the company closed Bagby Pizza Co. locations in Harbor East and Pikesville. Bagby Pizza in Owings Mills remains open.

In April, Bagby filed a civil lawsuit against Becker that alleged he stole from the company, committed fraud, misappropriated company trade secrets and other complaints. Months later, Becker was indicted on burglary, theft and property destruction charges after he allegedly broke into Bagby’s headquarters earlier in the year.

Becker was arrested in July after Smith and another employee identified a wig-wearing Becker in a surveillance video from the alleged break-in, according to charging documents. He was released the same day after posting bail.

It is not clear what Becker may have taken from the Bagby office, or how potential embezzlement charges would affect the civil lawsuit.

Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Meehan contributed to this article.

wesley.case@baltsun.com

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