While he confessed during an interrogation to killing his girlfriend’s mother with a baseball bat, a tape of the interview played in court today also showed Daniel Baker calling his cognitively impaired girlfriend the “brains” of the relationship.
Kristina Aksman, now 22, watched as Baker, now 24, smashed her mother’s knee, then her head with a baseball bat, killing her in the family’s Vernon Hills home, on April 1, 2010, Aksman testified at Baker’s trial earlier this week.
The couple then fled and were apprehended five days later in Glacier County, Montana, prosecutors allege.
Investigators from Lake County interviewed Baker there, and a tape of that interrogation was played in court.
“She didn’t cry, she was standing there smiling and happy,” Baker told Waukegan Police Det. Charles Schletz, who is a member of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. “She seemed ecstatic and she was egging me on.”
Baker told Schletz he had a hard time remembering what happened when he drove his car into the home before entering and killing Marina Aksman and felt like he was “possessed.”
“I remember driving up to the house, and the next thing I wake up and there’s a boom,” said Baker. “It’s all like a dream to me. I felt like I was watching myself.”
Baker said on the tape that he had grown afraid of Marina Aksman.
“I can tell you that she lied a lot and tried getting us in trouble with the police a lot,” he said on the tape. “I’m just telling you that I am getting more and more scared of her getting me into more and more trouble. I kind of felt like everything was turning into Nazi Germany and I was like ‘Where’s everybody’s rights?’”
The Deerfield man -- who has been diagnosed with disorders that include bi-polar, schizophrenia, Tourettes and depression -- said that he also loved Marina Aksman.
“I miss her,” he said on the tape, after viewing a picture of the dead body of his girlfriend’s mother.
Schletz asked Baker how many times he hit Marina Aksman. Twice, Baker answered. When Schletz told him that blood spatters indicate that it was probably more like five, the detective asked Baker if he was surprised by that. Baker said he was not.
“I’m not going to stop when I’m like that,” Baker said. “If something happens I am going to swing until I’m safe. Odds are I lost control.”
Baker had opinion about what should happen to the pair when they returned to Illinois.
“I don’t think Kristina and I should be in prison right now,” he said. “We’ve already been through enough trauma.”
At one point during the interrogation, Baker began to cry and asked for a hug from Schletz, who obliged the request.
“You know she already forgives you,” Schletz said. “I forgive you.”
The prosecution on Monday is expected to call Eupil Choi, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy. The defense could start its case after that.