A Deerfield man accused of bludgeoning a Vernon Hills woman to death with a baseball bat in April, 2010, was found fit to stand trial today and immediately asked the judge to let him fire his lawyers and represent himself, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
The trial will begin at 9 a.m. Monday before Lake County Criminal Court Judge Daniel Shanes in Waukegan, according to a spokesperson for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Earlier: Update: Judge Delays Baker Murder Trial
Baker attorney Ed Gensen introduced testimony Oct. 5 Baker was mentally unfit to stand trial, according to a report in the Daily Herald. The prosecution presented an expert saying the Deerfield man was mentally competent to assist in his defense which is the legal standard.
Prosecutors argued Baker was ruled fit to stand trial last year and called Gensen’s strategy stalling tactics, according to the Daily Herald. Gensen’s expert testified Baker has a personality disorder which does not allow him to understand how relationships form giving rise to the lawyer’s argument Baker could not assist in the trial.
Shanes told Baker to consider his decision over the weekend and let the judge know whether he will represent himself Monday, according to the Tribune. Shanes asked Baker if he had gone to law school and defendant said he did not. “No sir, but I did study for a week in here (Lake County Jail),” Baker told Shanes.
Baker is charged with first-degree murder of Vernon Hills woman Marina Aksman in 2010, according to Patch. Authorities claim Baker beat Aksman to death with a baseball bat. At the time of the murder, he was dating her daughter Kristina.