Vernon Hills Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Daniel Baker killed girlfriend's mom with a baseball bat, prosecutors say

By BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, May 13, 2010  |  Updated 3:07 PM CDT
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Daniel Baker, 21, was arrested in Montana in April on charges he killed Marina Aksman of Vernon Hills.

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The man accused of beating his girlfriend's mother to death with a baseball bat last month said he was not guilty during a court appearance Thursday morning.

Daniel Baker, 21, appeared unkempt and showed little reaction when Judge Fred Foreman told him he could face the death penalty for the death of Marina Aksman, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Aksman, 50, was found murdered in her Vernon Hills home on April 1. Police arrested Baker a week later after finding him speeding in Aksman's car on a Montana road.  Aksman's daughter, 21-year-old Kristina Aksman, was a passenger in the car. 

Police say Kristina Aksman takes medication to treat seizures and isn't fully capable of caring for herself.  She's not been charged with any wrongdoing.

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

Baker's next court date was scheduled for Aug. 20.

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