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Defense: Defendant was insane at time of Vernon Hills murder

Daniel Baker was insane when he beat his girlfriend's mother to death with a baseball bat in her Vernon Hills home, according to a mental health expert hired by the defense.

Defense attorney Ed Genson told Judge Daniel Shanes today that he would be mounting an insanity defense at the trial of his client, Baker, 24, of Deerfield. Genson said he’s waiting for a report that details the expert’s findings.

Baker is accused of killing Marina Aksman on April 1, 2010, in her Vernon Hills home, then fleeing in her car with her daughter, his then-girlfriend, Kristina Aksman.

In September 2011, a state-appointed mental health expert found Baker fit to stand trial.

At the time, Genson, who was already hinting that he would be mounting an insanity defense, said Baker was competent enough to understand the legal proceedings and participate in his trial, but that did not mean Baker was sane.

“Insanity is a totally different thing because it prevents you from knowing right from wrong,” Genson said.

In the middle of today’s proceedings, Baker handed Genson several hand-written pages that he said was a “motion to reconsider,” and “is a new motion for Judge Shanes.”

Shanes told him to stop talking during the proceedings.

“I mean no disrespect your honor,” Baker said.

Assistant State’s Atty. Ari Fisz said that depending on what the defense expert’s report says, the state may elect to have an independent evaluation of Baker.

Both sides are due back in court for a pretrial hearing on Aug. 24. The trial has been scheduled for Oct. 9.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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