(Update at 10:45 p.m.) A witness in the Daniel Baker murder trial testified today the Deerfield man’s DNA was found on the handle of the baseball bat prosecutors claim was used to kill Vernon Hills woman Marina Aksman, according to a second story in the Daily Herald.
Kelley Lawrence of the Northern Illinois Crime Lab also told the court the driver’s side air bag that inflated on Baker’s car when he crashed it into Aksman’s home contained both his DNA and that of his then girlfriend and Aksman’s daughter, Kristina Aksman, according to the Daily Herald.
(Earlier at 1:25 p.m.) The former girlfriend of a Deerfield man accused of beating her Vernon Hills mother to death with a baseball bat told Lake County Criminal Court Judge Daniel Shanes how Daniel Baker attacked Marina Aksman, according the Daily Herald.
"He hit her on the knee and on the face," Kristina Aksman, 22, said in a Channel 7 report. "I heard my mom scream for help. She fell on the bed...He was trying to light her on fire, but lighter didn't work." She is described by the prosecution a cognitively impaired and lives in a group home.
Earlier: Lawyers Clash as Baker Trial Opens
Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Patricia Fix put Aksman on the stand toprove Baker understood the criminality of his actions, according to Channel 7. “Some of these witnesses are some of the most challenging witnesses in my career I've had to put on, but we all feel pretty good about how it's gone so far," Fix said to Channel 7.
Baker’s lawyer, Ed Genson, got Aksman to admit she occasionally hit Baker in anger, she forgave him for his actions, they were engaged at the time and the two never spoke of what Baker did to Marina Aksman during a four-day ride to Montana, according to the Chicago Tribune.
According to the prosecution the couple fled to Montana where Baker was apprehended, according to reports on Patch.
During the drive to Montana, Baker and Aksman did discuss where they would go together, according to the Daily Herald. They talked about Canada and Mexico and a map was found in the car with Tijuana circled.
Earlier in the day, Baker told Genson he was not involved in the slaying and wanted to start the trial over, according to the Deerfield Review. Shanes denied Genson’s motion for a mistrial. Genson contends his client killed Aksman but is not guilty by reason of insanity.
“I’m not taking the blame,” Baker said in the Deerfield Review to Genson as a deputy escorted him out of the courtroom for lunch, according to the Deerfield Review story. “I wasn’t even in the house when it happened,” he added despite Kristina Aksman’s testimony.