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Suspect pleads not guilty in Punahou Street slaying

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:49 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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