Motion to suppress denied in Vernon Hills murder case
Updated: October 4, 2012 4:40PM
WAUKEGAN — The defense attorney representing the Deerfield man accused of bludgeoning his girlfriend’s mother to death unsuccessfully tried to suppress his client’s confession for a second time at a hearing Thursday.
Daniel Baker, 24, was recorded on camera confessing to the April 1, 2010, bludgeoning homicide of Marina Aksman, 50, in her Vernon Hills home. His attorney, Ed Genson, previously asked the court to suppress the confession on the grounds that Baker was mentally unstable at the time of the interview and because Baker had asserted his right to an attorney.
Circuit Judge Fred Foreman issued a memorandum July 26 denying the request. Baker did say that he would “feel more comfortable” having his attorney present during his interrogation, but went right on to say that he had “no problem” answering detectives’ questions.
“You (previously) ruled that was not an unequivocal invocation of his right to council. I’m asking you to reconsider your position,” Genson said.
Foreman on Thursday denied Genson’s motion to reconsider.
“Ultimately, there will be an appeal on this issue,” Genson said.
Foreman was the previous judge to preside over the Baker case. However, the case was transferred to Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes after Foreman became chief judge earlier this year.
Baker also was brought before Shanes Thursday to address Genson’s motion to continue the trial and to have a mental fitness hearing.
Genson reaffirmed his decision to pursue an insanity defense for his client before Shanes. He also said he had doubts about his client’s mental fitness to stand trial next week. Baker made a “number of bizarre statements” to Genson over the phone Wednesday, Genson said.
“I have very serious doubts as to the defendant’s competency. The (psychiatrist’s) report says he believes (Baker) could be medicated to be competent,” Genson said.
Baker was put on medication when he first was taken into custody at Lake County Jail April 9, 2010, Genson said. However, Baker’s mother called the jail and “by virtue of that,” the jail stopped giving Baker medication, Genson said.
Genson also said he needed more time to discuss in-depth psychiatric reports with his client before he would be ready for trial.
Shanes set the case over to Friday to address whether there will be a fitness hearing and whether the trial will begin Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Baker is in Lake County Jail without bond.