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posted: 4/10/2010 12:01 AM

Prosecution, defense differ on relationship's tone

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Daniel Baker and Kristina Aksman launched a relationship when they met as students at College of Lake County in Grayslake.

But Lake County prosecutors and a defense attorney disagree about the tone of their relationship that's central to the charges filed against Baker in the murder of Aksman's mother, Marina.

While Chief Deputy State's Attorney Jeff Pavletic described the relationship as volatile, defense attorney Edward Genson said it was "loving." Neither attorney elaborated on their statements following Baker's bond hearing Friday in Lake County circuit court.

Genson said Baker, 21, is a Deerfield High School graduate who went on to attend Columbia College in downtown Chicago for an unspecified period of time. He said Baker is a student at CLC.

Authorities said Kristina Aksman, 20, suffers mental deficiencies and that her parents were awarded guardianship of their daughter by a Lake County judge nearly a month ago.

Baker of Deerfield, is held without bond at the Lake County jail in Waukegan on three counts of first-degree murder in the beating death of Marina Aksman.

Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller described Kristina Aksman as "a special-needs girl" whose parents wanted to end her relationship with Baker.

"I would point out the situation with her background was a lot different than it seems," Genson said of Kristina Aksman after the bond hearing. He did not elaborate.

Prosecutors accuse Baker of beating the 50-year-old woman to death with an aluminum baseball bat in her Vernon Hills house early in the morning April 1.

After the murder, prosecutors said, Baker took Kristina Aksman and fled to Montana.

Pavletic said Baker wanted to travel with the young woman because he knew police would catch up to him, which is what happened Monday in Montana.

Baker family members attended the bond hearing. His mother, Diane Baker, did not comment after the hearing.