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Prosecutor: Beating of Vernon Hills mom ‘intentional’

Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker

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Updated: November 21, 2012 6:08AM

Daniel Baker acted in “an intentional manner” when he took a baseball bat to Marina Aksman, prosecutors said Friday.

Baker, 24, of Deerfield is on trial before Lake County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Shanes for first-degree murder for allegedly killing Aksman, 50, on April 1, 2010.

“It is the state’s theory ... the defendant acted in an intentional manner, first taking out her knees then strik(ing) her across the face and then eventually striking her on the head,” Assistant State’s Attorney Patricia Fix said.

Fix brought the state’s theory up to persuade Shanes to allow her to admit photographs detailing Aksman’s injuries as evidence. Defense attorneys Ed Genson and Blaire Dalton objected to the photos.

Genson said the photos were “prejudicial” and Dalton pointed out that photos depicting Aksman’s injuries had previously been admitted as evidence.

The photos were to refresh the memory of now-retired Dr. Eupil Choi, the forensic pathologist who performed the Vernon Hills woman’s autopsy.

Some of the photos in question showed Aksman’s left knee, extremities and head.

Baker re-enacted swinging a bat at Aksman’s knee and head in a recorded interview with Waukegan Police Detective Charles Schletz, who is with Lake County Major Crime Task Force. That portion of the video was played as evidence on Friday before the photo evidence was discussed.

The photos would corroborate Baker’s account of what happened the night Aksman was murdered, Fix argued.

Shanes said the indictment charges Baker with murder in a “brutal and heinous manner.” He allowed most of the photos to be admitted as evidence.

However, this decision was reached late in the day Friday. The majority of the evidence presented Friday was about two hours worth of Baker’s recorded interview with Schletz and Genson’s lengthy cross-examination of Schletz following the video.

Choi is expected to testify Monday when the trial resumes. Baker’s bench trial started earlier this week.

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