Ex-pastor indicted for wife's murder surrenders - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Ex-pastor indicted for wife's murder surrenders

by Patrick Tolbert and Sara Talbert

WACO - Matt Baker surrendered to authorities in Kerr County 4:30 Thursday. Bond is set at $500,000.

A McLennan County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Matt Baker Wednesday.

Hewitt Police say in April 2006 Matt drugged his wife Kari Lynn Baker with sleeping pills and suffocated her with a pillow at their home. On March 15, 2008, charges were dropped against Baker and he was given back his $200,000 bail.

It was originally believed that 31-year-old Kari Lynn Baker killed herself by overdosing on sleeping pills at the couple's Hewitt home in April of 2006. Three months after the teacher's death, toxicology tests found sleeping and diet pills in her system.

Kari's family never believed she took her own life and have said Matt killed her all along. Police documents obtained by News Channel 25, show Matt Baker used prescription and over-the-counter medication and alcohol to render his wife defenseless. He then used a pillow to suffocate her to death.

The documents also say he researched "overdose by sleeping pill" on his work computer at the Waco Center for Youth and tried to make Kari's death look like a suicide. The documents also say Baker was seeking a romantic relationship with another woman before Kari died. Several days after her death, Baker was seen at Richland Mall in Waco looking at engagement rings with a woman.  

John Segrest, the McLennan County District Attorney told News Channel 25 Wednesday's indictment is the result of an on-going investigation his office never stopped conducting. Segrest would not tell say whether there was any new evidence in the case.

News Channel 25 spoke with James Gray, Matt Baker's former defense attorney. He said he didn't know about the indictment until we called him and he was no longer representing Baker because he wasn't needed. He said he's not sure if he would take Baker's case again, depending on the evidence.

Linda Dulin, Kari Baker's mother, told News Channel 25 Wednesday, "We're so grateful. We knew this day would come. We're so grateful. We're finally seeing the beginning of justice in the murder of our daughter. We're going to work to rescue our granddaughters."

Matt and Kari Baker had two girls, now ages 12 and 8. They are currently in the custody of Matt Baker. 

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