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updated: 10/19/2012 6:33 PM

Prosecutors play confession in Baker's murder trial

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  • Daniel Baker

      Daniel Baker

 

Daniel Baker repeatedly told Lake County detectives he couldn't remember what happened in the early morning hours of April 1, 2010.

Then, about four hours into questioning, he stands up and demonstrates how he thinks he struck Marina Aksman's knees and face with an aluminum baseball bat in her Vernon Hills home.

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"I'm not going to stop when something like that happens," Baker said, later adding, "Odds are I lost control then."

Baker acted out the scene during a videotaped police interview in the Glacier County, Mont., courthouse annex, close to where he and former girlfriend Kristina Aksman were captured five days after her mother's murder.

Prosecutors finished playing the five-hour recording Friday in what was the fourth day of Baker's first-degree murder trial in Lake County circuit court.

Sitting on a couch dressed in an orange jumpsuit, Baker is shown in the videotape describing a highly dysfunctional relationship with the entire Aksman family.

Baker, now 24, told Waukegan Detective Charles Schletz, a member of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, that Kristina Aksman was a habitual liar who cheated on and physically abused him. It contributed to him feeling out of control and his mind being blurry, he said.

"I feel like my mind has just been breaking down the last few years," Baker said.

At the time of Marina Aksman's murder, Baker said, it was as if he was having an out-of-body experience or was possessed.

Baker also said Kristina Aksman, who is cognitively impaired, wanted her parents dead and seemed "ecstatic" after her mother's death. She was not charged in connection with the murder.

"Everybody thinks she's this angel that can do no wrong," Baker said.

At one point, Baker became emotional and told Schletz "I just want a hug." The detective embraced him, then encouraged Baker to concentrate on what happened.

"This is poison, you can't let it sit on your heart," Schletz said.

The morning after the confession, Schletz asked Baker about several photos taken of his bloodstained jeans and the crime scene. He muttered "so stupid" when shown a picture of the crash prosecutors say Baker caused when he rammed his car into the home's front stoop just before the murder. When he saw Aksman's body lying on the bed with blood splattered across the wall and ceiling, Baker covered his face and let out an expletive.

"It just happened," Baker said.

Defense attorneys motioned earlier this year to suppress the tape, saying Baker was under duress and should have had a lawyer present. In June, a judge said it would be allowed.

Prosecutors were expected to rest their case Friday after calling retired forensic pathologist Dr. Eupil Choi to the stand. However, defense attorney Ed Genson objected to the autopsy photos Choi was about to review, saying they were redundant, prejudicial and unnecessary since there's no doubt Aksman died as a result of being beaten by the bat.

Judge Daniel Shanes will allow all but a few of the photos to be admitted into evidence when Choi's testimony resumes Monday.

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