A Circuit judge sentenced a 44-year-old man today to life in prison with the possibility of parole in connection with the heinous 2013 murder of a Honolulu real estate broker.
Judge Paul Wong sentenced Vernon Baker at Circuit Court for second-degree murder in the death of Mary Beth San Juan, 56.
During sentencing, the state and defense recommended Baker serve a minimum of 20 years before he is eligible for parole. The Hawaii Paroling Authority will determine the minimum number of years Baker will serve in prison before is eligible for parole.
In the courtroom this morning, Baker turned to San Juan’s ex-husband Dr. Alberto San Juan, who was seated in the courtroom gallery, and said there’s nothing he can do or say that can “make this right.”
As he broke down in tears, Baker said, “I’m trying to understand how I can possibly do this.”
“I really don’t deserve to live.”
Baker pleaded guilty to murder in February in a plea deal.
In July 2013, San Juan’s ex-husband found San Juan’s body wrapped in a rug in the driveway of her Punahou Street home. Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Tashima said she was bound, gagged and stabbed more than 20 times.
Police arrested Baker four days after San Juan’s body was found.
Police said San Juan and Baker were acquaintances.