Thursday Testimony In Baker Murder Trial Filled With Twists, Turns, Technical Talk

By: By Eli Ross Email
By: By Eli Ross Email

WACO (January 14, 2010)--The second day of testimony in the murder trial of former Waco pastor Matt Baker, 38, was focused to a large extent on computers, Web sites and e-mail as prosecutors continued to build a case they say will prove that Baker killed his wife Kari Lynn in April 2006.

The death initially was ruled a suicide, but in July 2006 McLennan County Justice of the Peace Billy Martin changed his ruling to undetermined, after an autopsy was performed on Kari's exhumed body at the urging of her parents.

Prosecutors allege that Baker tried to make the death look like a suicide to cover up the murder.

Computer forensics examiner Noel Kersh testified Thursday that in the month before Kari's death, Baker visited online pharmacy and drug company Web sites and used the phrase, "overdose on sleeping pills" to search the Internet.

Kersh testified that he reviewed data from Baker's laptop computer and retrieved information from a computer server at the Waco Center for Youth where Baker once worked.

Baker had earlier reported that computer missing.

Kersh testified that Baker sent e-mails during those times, indicating he was the person doing those Internet searches and visiting those Web sites.

Kersh later testified that someone logged into a computer under the profile MattDB7722 visited a website for a Bed & Breakfast in Fredericksburg.

By looking at the computer's cookies, he was able to determine that the person who logged on to the computer had the username "Matt Baker" and the password of "vanessa."

Under that same profile, Kersh testified, someone visited bulafiji.com, a Web site that helps plan trips to the Island of Fiji.

Kersh said he was able to recover an e-mail sent from the Web site by a man by the name of Piper Fenton that read in part, "Bula Matt, Congratulations on your engagement. What an exciting time for both of you."

Thursday morning Jennifer Monsey, who knew the Bakers through church, testified that Baker was cozy with another woman at his daughter's birthday party.

She testified that she was uncomfortable at the two weeks after Kari's death.

She said she didn't see any pictures of Kari in the house, but that she did see photos of another woman, who was at the party.

Monsey said she left after seeing the woman's head in Baker's lap.

Defense attorney Guy James Gray told jurors Wednesday that Baker was having an affair, but said his wife suffered from deep depression.

Thursday morning, pathologist Dr. Reade Quinton, who performed the autopsy on Kari's exhumed body, testified there were no signs of trauma on the body and that while toxicology tests revealed the presence of some drugs, he could not say if the levels were lethal.

That's why, he said, he ruled the cause of death undetermined.

He said performing an autopsy on an embalmed body is difficult.

Earlier In The Trial

Matt Baker Trial Blog Wednesday Jan. 13

Matt Baker Trial Wednesday Jan. 13

Matt Baker Trial Blog Thursday Jan. 14


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