Baker's Attorney Seeks Bond Reduction
Published October 20, 2007::::Just a Note::::
A 36-year-old Kerrville man accused of murdering his wife may be released soon from the McLennan County Jail if a state district judge grants a bond reduction next week.
Matthew Dee Baker, who has been jailed since his arrest one month ago, tentatively is scheduled to appear Friday before District Judge Matt Johnson in the 54th Judicial District Court in Waco.
Bond for the former Baptist minister and local substitute teacher recently was doubled to $400,000. Baker’s attorney, Guy James Gray, said the affidavit used to arrest Baker was “loaded with speculation and prejudice.” “There is no forensic proof,” said Gray, a Kerrville lawyer and retired district attorney. “The more I studied it, the more I believe this man is innocent of these charges and he’s sitting in jail.” Gray pointed to allegations Baker’s late wife, Kari Lynn Baker, was smothered with a pillow or similar object. The autopsy report doesn’t back those claims, Gray said. The claims that Matthew Baker drugged his late wife also haven’t been substantiated, said Gray, who plans to ask for a speedy trial. Matthew Baker reportedly discovered his wife’s body after returning from getting gas and renting movies on a Friday night in April 2006. He reported her death as a suicide, but a McLennan County Justice of the Peace later ruled the death “undetermined.”
In July 2006, Kari Lynn Baker’s parents, James and Linda Dulin, filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming Matthew Baker intentionally caused the death of their daughter, according to court documents. As a result, the Dulins suffered loss of companionship, care, comfort and happiness. During the past year, Bill Johnston, attorney for the Dulins, has amassed more than a dozen depositions from people tied to Waco-area Baptist churches, medical emergency agencies, Baylor University and Spring Valley Elementary School, where Baker’s late wife worked and the couple’s two daughters attended school. Some of the information gathered in the civil case then was turned over to the Hewitt Police Department and used to build a criminal case against Matthew Baker. “It was reviewed and taken into consideration,” said Capt. Tuck Saunders, spokesman for the Hewitt Police Department. “Detectives also work with other agencies, too.”
The civil case was dismissed last week. The criminal case has been assigned to Crawford Long, first assistant district attorney in McLennan County. It hasn’t been reviewed yet by a grand jury, so Matthew Baker hasn’t been formally charged. That district’s grand jury isn’t scheduled to meet again until Nov. 7.
The civil case wasn't "dismissed" as in dismissed by the judicial system for lack of merit or something like that. Kari's parents dropped the civil suit so as not to detract time and resources away from the more pressing and important case....the criminal one.