Trial Begins For Man Accused of Killing Girlfriend's Mom

Daniel Baker to decide whether he will fire attorney and represent himself

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Daniel Baker after his arrest in 2010

    A man accused of killing his girlfriend's mother in 2010 is fit to stand trial, a judge ruled Monday.

    Daniel Baker, 24, was charged with beating Marina Aksman to death with a baseball bat after smashing an SUV into her Vernon Hills home. The Chicago Tribune reports that Baker's mother on Monday testified her son was "paranoid" and said he's afraid his attorney is part of the Russian Mafia.

    Baker already had been found fit to stand trial Friday, but he then considered firing his attorney, Ed Genson, whose former clients include Rod Blagojevich and R. Kelly, according to the Tribune.

    Genson said Baker had been uncooperative and said he doesn't want a jury trial.

    The judge agreed to revisit Baker's fitness to stand trial, but on Monday again found him mentally fit.

    Aksman, 50, was found murdered on April 1, 2010. Police arrested Baker a week later after finding him speeding in Aksman's car on a Montana road. Aksman's daughter, Kristina Aksman, was a passenger in the car but ultimately was not charged.

    Prosecutors contend Baker killed Aksman because she was trying to break up the couple.

    Baker's trial begins Tuesday.