Newly elected Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim has appointed a special prosecutor in the Daniel Baker murder case because Nerheim was one of Baker’s lawyers before he began running for his current office, according to a report in the Lake County News Sun.
Baker was convicted in November of beating Marina Aksman of Vernon Hills to death with a baseball bat. In finding Baker guilty at the time, Lake County Criminal Court Judge Daniel Shanes found Baker was mentally ill but had an appreciation of his actions, according to an earlier story on Patch.
“In the abundance of caution, I thought in the interest of fairness and caution, it would be most appropriate to have a new prosecutor handle the case,” Nerheim said in the News Sun story. Nerheim had conversations with Baker about the case for a year after the Deerfield man was arrested.