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Article updated: 8/30/2012 6:02 PM

Defense raises questions in Aksman killing

Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker

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The whereabouts of Kristina Aksman on the night her mother was bludgeoned to death could become an issue in the scheduled October murder trial of Daniel Baker, a defense attorney said Thursday.

Baker's defense attorney Ed Gensen said he is questioning whether Baker was alone in his vehicle when he drove a car into the front of Marina Aksman's Vernon Hills house minutes before murdering her, or if the victim's daughter, Kristina -- who was in a relationship with Baker -- was seated next to him.

Baker, now 24, is accused of killing 50-year-old woman with an aluminum baseball bat in her home in April 2010.

Prosecutors have said Aksman's 20-year-old daughter was in the home when Baker broke in and clubbed Marina Aksman to death.

However, Gensen said both air bags were found deployed in the silver, 4-door sedan Baker drove into Aksman's house, reasoning there is evidence to show Kristina was in the car next to Baker.

"If she was in the car, the story she told police is suspect," Gensen said following a court proceeding Thursday.

However, Lake County Assistant States Attorney Patricia Fix said an automobile expert will be introduced during Baker's trial to show that both driver and passenger air bags will deploy during a front-end crash in the type of vehicle Baker was driving that night.

"The expert will testify that both air bags will deploy in a front-end impact crash regardless if a passenger is in the car or not," Fix said.

Both sides said they are 95 percent through the main issues that could delay Baker's trial, and that everything is on track for an Oct. 9 start.

Another pretrial hearing is set for Tuesday to argue over some key experts and witnesses, and review further psychological experts that both sides are requesting.

Baker is accused of murdering Aksman with a baseball bat for allegedly trying to end his relationship with Kristina Aksman.

Following the murder, Baker took Kristina Aksman on a four-day road trip before he was arrested in Cut Bank, Mt., police said. Kristina Aksman, who has mental disabilities, was not charged in the case.

Baker confessed to Aksman's murder after his arrest, police said. He remains held without bail in Lake County jail.

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