Killer’s plan: Open surf shop on Lake Shore Dr.
By Beth Kramer Sun-Times Mediaemail@example.com January 10, 2013 1:16AM
Daniel Baker, 24, of Deerfield, was found guilty but mentally ill in the murder of Marina Aksman, 50, of Vernon Hills.
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:42AM
If his first-degree murder conviction is overturned, self-described “bisexual swinger” Daniel Baker plans to open a fast-food business and surf shop on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, according to an eight-page document he wrote while sitting in Lake County Jail.
Baker, 24, of Deerfield, wrote the motion for a judgment of acquittal that his attorney Ed Genson filed in court for him on Tuesday.
Last November, Baker was found guilty but mentally ill at his murder trial in the baseball beating death of Marina Aksman in her Vernon Hills home. In his motion, he blames Aksman’s daughter, Kristina, whom he dated, for the attack.
Baker also provides a fresh account of what happened the night Aksman was killed and outlines a lengthy plan if “equited today,” according to the document.
“I think the document speaks for itself,” special prosecutor Dave Neal said after a hearing Tuesday in the Baker case.
Baker met Kristina Aksman while both were enrolled in classes at the College of Lake County’s Grayslake campus, according to testimony presented during his trial. He had a six-month relationship with her that Marina Aksman tried to end, prosecutors said during the trial.
Kristina Aksman was there on April 1, 2010, when Baker tried to crash his car into their home. She testified during the trial that she watched Baker beat her mother with a baseball bat. She also testified that Baker ordered her to pack her things.
They were picked up by police in Glacier County, Mont., a few days after the murder. Kristina was questioned, but she never charged in her mother’s murder. Baker confessed to the crime in a recorded interview with police that was presented at his trial.
“Defendant denies all allegations and claims he is being blamed for what the daughter did,” Baker writes in his motion.
He writes that a man of 160 to 185 pounds could “not have done this.” He points to Kristina, saying that “someone shorter did it.”
“The defendent claims he is being gender stereotyped because he is being accused of being abusive . . . the Defendant actually happens to be a Non-violent Conformist,” Baker writes.
His new account of what happened was that he visited the Aksman residence to have “sex/talk.”
Baker claims he parked his car, went in through the garage and “that evening she was dead on the bed, then out of no where, I felt a person behind me.”
This contradicts photo evidence presented at trial that Baker’s vehicle crashed into the Aksman residence.
Baker said he “felt bad for” Kristina and wiped the bat down after she confessed to the crime.
He outlined an elaborate plan for his future if his conviction is overturned.
He will file for Israeli citizenship and plans to join the Israeli non-active military program. He writes that he has this opportunity because he is Jewish. He said he plans “a stint as a snowboard instructor at a resort on Mt. Hermon” before he opens a surf shop “probably after or during the military service.”
Once he has “a sufficient amount of income made the honest way the way I like to make money i.e. (no lawsuit). I plan to open a surf shop in Haifa where I design surfboards, instruct and compete in surfing,” Baker writes.
He plans to open a fast-food business in the United States named “ ‘Falafel Well’ we compete with taco bell NOT joking. In fact, can I please have that patented and trademarked?” Baker writes.
He also wants to open a Falafel Well “with a surf shop on lakeshore drive in Chicago to bring surfing to Chicago.”
Baker says he wants to live in Haifa because it is “one of the gay cities of the world I am a bisexual swinger and always have been I will NOT change,” Baker writes.
His motion will be addressed at a court hearing on Feb. 5. He remains in custody at Lake County Jail.