Suspect in Vernon Hills murder denied bond

April 9, 2010 6:10:34 PM PDT
New details have emerged in the murder of a Vernon Hills woman as the man charged with the crime arrived back in Illinois Friday.

Daniel Baker is accused of beating his girlfriend's mother to death with a baseball bat on April 1. He was arrested for speeding Monday in Montana and was flown to Chicago Friday afternoon. Baker, who is charged with first degree murder, appeared in court in Waukegan and was denied bond.

In court, prosecutors revealed the contents of a voice mail that Baker is said to have left for the victim, Marina Aksman, before he allegedly beat her to death. "You've messed up her life, Marina," Baker said in the message. "You've messed up everything and there's going to be big trouble and I mean big trouble. You don't mess with Daniel Baker."

"It was brutal and it was gruesome and you know what, those words describe it," said Mike Waller, Lake County state's attorney.

Lake County prosecutors recounted how Baker's girlfriend, 20-year-old Kristina, watched as he used an aluminum baseball bat to beat her mother to death. They say the circumstances surrounding the murder and aftermath were confirmed by video statements given by both Baker and Kristina Aksman.

"They had a special needs girl who was dating someone her parents didn't want her to date and they attempted to end the relationship and this defendant wouldn't take no for an answer," said Waller.

Baker was brought to the Lake County courthouse straight from O'Hare where he landed Friday after being extradited from Cut Bank, Montana. He and Kristina were stopped by local police there Monday night for speeding. Kristina, who is not charged with anything, flew to Chicago Thursday.

Baker's family had nothing to say as they left the courthouse but his defense attorney, Ed Genson, did.

"The question in this case is legal responsibility. The question in this case is whether the young man who had a relationship with the girl, and I believe it was a loving relationship with this young lady, was in fact legally responsible for what occurred there. That's basically all I have to say," said Genson.

Genson criticized the police for questioning Baker for eight hours before taking the video statement.

The prosecutors released a large portion of the contents of that video statement. They say Baker reenacted the murder for them and asked how many times the medical examiner thought he had taken the bat to Marina Aksman's head.

Robert Aksman, Marina's husband and Kristina's father, was also at the courthouse but he left without saying anything.