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Suspect pleads not guilty in Punahou Street slaying

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 04:49 p.m. HST, Jul 30, 2013

The 41-year-old Honolulu man charged with killing a 56-year-old aspiring actress and real estate agent pleaded not guilty in his initial appearance in District Court this morning.

Vernon Baker was charged Monday with second-degree murder of Mary Beth San Juan. He also faces two counts of promoting dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Baker's preliminary hearing is scheduled for district court Thursday afternoon. His bail is set at $200,000.

Baker was arrested Saturday at Ala Moana Center.

San Juan's body was found by her ex-husband on the night of July 23, bound, gagged and wrapped in a rug outside her Punahou Street home.

Police say Baker and San Juan knew each other, but have not released further details.

Her 2013 Mercedes-Benz was found Wednesday, and her wallet was later found in a trash bin on Lemon Road in Waikiki. 

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SueH wrote:
By pleading not guilty and unable to make bail, he'll at least have a place to stay and 3 meals a day courtesy of taxpayers while his judicial process grinds slowly forward.
on July 30,2013 | 10:06AM
TigerEye wrote:
Realistically, what do you suggest? A bullet to the head?
on July 30,2013 | 10:18AM
SueH wrote:
The suspect should take responsibility for his own actions, something severely lacking by individuals in our society today, rather than hiding behind the legal process hoping for a dismissal due to a technicality or other glitch that gets him off. The evidence supporting his guilt in this crime is overwhelming, but it will take many unnecessary hours and many taxpayer dollars to establish the obvious. But yes, as you suggest, a bullet to the head would be satisfactory and a lot less costly to taxpayers for the disposition of this mullet.
on July 30,2013 | 11:19AM
TigerEye wrote:
I said, "realistically." You think that our justice system should be based on what "everybody thinks happened" and save your money by putting a bullet in someone's head. If that's your idea of reality, maybe you should adjust your dosages.
on July 30,2013 | 03:29PM
aomohoa wrote:
A little cranky today??
on July 30,2013 | 08:29PM
lynnh wrote:
I would like to point out the none of us know the facts of the case, yet you jump to conclusions and automatically label him as guilty. That is for a jury to decide, which is his right. Remember our rights? Innocent until proven guilty? This is become a plague if a problem in the country.
on July 30,2013 | 11:11PM
dsl wrote:
if he's guilty...yeah!
on July 30,2013 | 12:10PM
Aieagrl wrote:
I'd supply the ammo.
on July 30,2013 | 12:19PM
false wrote:
Now that's cruel. Maybe a shot gun blast.
on July 30,2013 | 12:49PM
busthalfnut wrote:
If found guilty and the appeal process runs its course, death is a nice option.
on July 30,2013 | 04:58PM
cojef wrote:
He was turned out by Sangsa for having a delibitating disease, meaning probably, HIV, and requiring extreme medical intervention to survive. He also lost faith and was in the dumps and lost his sense of responsibility and thus struck the only way he knew how, crime. Did society abandoned him? Reality is a crime was committed and justice must be served. Tough!
on July 30,2013 | 05:46PM
false wrote:
I tell you one thing that place to stay your referring to ain't no YMCA!
on July 30,2013 | 12:48PM
TigerEye wrote:
Yes, the Y would be much cheaper....
on July 30,2013 | 03:54PM
Grimbold wrote:
"false" How you know it so well?
on July 30,2013 | 04:37PM
kainalu wrote:
Aka, "prove it" Keith Kaneshiro, HPD, and gang.
on July 30,2013 | 10:28AM
allie wrote:
Unfortunately there are unstable druggies like this all over the city now. Look for more inexplicable violence.
on July 30,2013 | 10:46AM
8082062424 wrote:
I do not think he falls under the term druggie . mental illness maybe. go read his face book page. he post daily from 2009 then on march 1st of this year he stops. he may have been homeless because a lot of folks with no home stay at Waikiki beach side
on July 30,2013 | 12:41PM
IAmSane wrote:
I read some of his Twitter posts and he sounds like a normal guy. (What he did was horrible, of course.)
on July 30,2013 | 01:10PM
honopic wrote:
You lost your right to post on this story when you publicly assumed the husband did it, allie. Sierra Tango Foxtrot Uniform.
on July 30,2013 | 01:50PM
aomohoa wrote:
I thought she had an ex husband. I didn't see allies, post on that, but the people closest to a victim is usually at the top of a suspect list. Trust me I am not defended allie, but you seem to really dislike her/?he.
on July 30,2013 | 08:34PM
Sunny wrote:
Most likely HPD was able to match DNA to the suspect.
on July 30,2013 | 11:45AM
false wrote:
Of which should be destroyed!!!!
on July 30,2013 | 12:53PM
lynnh wrote:
In what world, especially Hawaii, would DNA evidence get processed that quick? lol
on July 30,2013 | 11:13PM
Somebody please help me, I have been out of it for the last couple days and must have missed an earlier story eplaining how this main is guilty or some of the evidence found that relates to this man. Can somebody tell me what happened?
on July 30,2013 | 06:13PM
lynnh wrote:
I would like to point out the none of us know the facts of the case, yet you jump to conclusions and automatically label him as guilty. That is for a jury to decide, which is his right. Remember our rights? Innocent until proven guilty? This is become a plague if a problem in the country.
on July 30,2013 | 11:13PM
suecee wrote:
i think the zen temple was referring to mental illness when they stated he had to leave because of disease...but that does not excuse this heinous crime , obviously carefuuly planned and executed, in any way.
on July 30,2013 | 06:53PM
suecee wrote:
Or perhaps the illness was drug addiction.
on July 30,2013 | 06:54PM
2NDC wrote:
This dude is being railroaded. Too many pieces of evidence too conveniently found. I say he walks.
on July 31,2013 | 12:21AM
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