Batavia murder suspect says she's bipolar

  • Latoya M. Baines

    Latoya M. Baines

Updated 7/31/2014 5:46 PM

A 26-year-old woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death at a Batavia apartment complex two years ago told police she has a bipolar disorder -- but after she was informed by authorities she'd been charged with murder, a detective testified Thursday.

The mental condition of Latoya M. Baines was an issue at the Kane County court hearing in which Baines' defense attorney sought to have her statements to police banned from court.


Baines has been held on $750,000 bail since her arrest April 30, 2012, at an apartment complex on the 1100 block of East Wilson Street.

She faces 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Gerald J. Jackson, 25, with whom she had two children.

Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz testified that police were called to the complex shortly after 1 a.m. and arrested Baines, whom fellow officers said was intoxicated.

Baines was driven back to the station, put in a holding call and questioned at about 7:15 a.m. after she had time to sleep it off.

Bretz said he read Baines her Miranda Rights and she signed a form saying she understood them. Her clothes also were taken as evidence and she was issued an insulated, paper gown because the jail jumpsuits did not fit, Bretz said.

Bretz testified that Baines told police she suffered from a bipolar disorder, but only after she was informed of the murder charges against her.

Defense attorney Sandra Byrd argued that police did not take any steps to ensure Baines actually understood her rights or had waived them.

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Byrd said her client's lack of understanding combined with Baines' clothing being taken, lack of sleep, lack of food and being shuttled from cell to cell, meant she did not give her statements to police voluntarily and they therefore should be banned from court.

During the hearing, Baines, clad in an orange prisoner jumpsuit, sniffled and occasionally sobbed. She was ruled fit to stand trial in June after an evaluation.

The only part of Baines' interrogation that was played in open court was when Bretz reviewed Miranda Rights with her.

Judge Susan Clancy Boles said she wanted to review the remainder of the interrogation recordings and would rule on the matter Wednesday.

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