After months of speculation over mental stability, the Deerfield murder suspect was deemed fit to stand trial Friday.
The 23-year-old faces first-degree murder charges in the death of Vernon Hills resident Marina Aksman in 2010. Authorities claim Baker beat Aksman to death with a baseball bat. At the time of the murder, he was dating her daughter Kristina.
In May a court psychologist deemed mentally fit to stand trial for murder but his defense team decided to conduct its own examination.
Baker’s lawyers told Patch at this point they believe their client is competent to stand trial based on the fact that he understands the charges and is able to cooperate with counsel. However, they claim that at the time of the murder he was mentally insane.
“Their defense will be insanity,” Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Pat Fix stated after court proceedings. “You can be fit to stand trial but still mentally insane at the time of the offense.”
Baker’s lawyers told Judge Fred Foreman they are now going to have him examined by a neuropsychologist.
Fix said Baker’s attorneys are also in the process of filing a motion to suppress a statement in which Baker allegedly confessed the murder to Montana authorities when he was arrested.
Those motions will be reviewed during a hearing on Nov. 15.