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Article updated: 5/17/2013 2:51 PM

Appeal planned for Baker in Vernon Hills murder

Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker

 
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Daniel Baker's defense attorney said he will file an appeal after a Lake County judge refused to reconsider Baker's prison sentence in the brutal 2010 murder of a Vernon Hills woman.

Ed Genson said he will immediately file Baker's case in the Illinois State Appellate Court.

Judge Daniel Shanes denied two motions to reconsider the 47-year sentence given to Baker, 24, for the murder of Marina Aksman in her Vernon Hills home.

Shanes ruled the evidence and legal issues were evaluated in court when he found Baker was mentally fit to be sentenced and that the prison sentence was the correct decision.

"I imposed a sentence that was equal to the seriousness of the offense," Shanes told Gensen during the hearing. "And, I did it while comparing all the factors outlined at trial."

Baker was not present during the 30-minute hearing. Neither Gensen nor Baker's family would comment after the hearing.

Baker was found guilty but mentally ill by Shanes in October 2012. In the years leading up to the trial, several mental fitness evaluations were held to determine if he could stand trial.

Shanes determined Baker was fit to understand the charges against him and assist in his defense when needed.

However, Baker spent large portions of the trial and sentencing being disruptive, to the point where he left his sentencing hearing before the judge's decision was handed down.

"This is probably the most violent and heinous case this community will ever see," prosecutor Dave Neal said after the hearing. "We don't believe society is safe anytime Daniel Baker walks among us."

Testimony showed Baker became enraged at the 50-year-old Aksman when she tried to end the relationship Baker was having with her mentally disabled daughter, Kristina.

Authorities said Baker used a baseball bat to smash through a rear glass door of Aksman's house and bludgeon her to death April 1, 2010, before grabbing Kristina and fleeing the state.

After police picked them up in Montana four days later, Baker admitted to the murder during a five-hour interview with investigators.

Kristina Aksman was never charged in connection with the murder due to her own mental disabilities.

After he was found guilty of murder, Baker wrote a letter to Shanes claiming Kristina Aksman had killed her mother, but he covered up the murder to protect her.

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