Ex-minister won't be tried in wife's death

WACO, TX McLennan County District Attorney John Segrest said the murder charge against Matt Baker stands, but his office agreed to an order issued Tuesday that required a refund of the $200,000 bond used to secure Baker's release from jail in October.

Kari Lynn Baker, a 31-year-old teacher, was found dead two years ago in her home in Hewitt, near Waco. A justice of the peace ruled her death a suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills but later ordered the body exhumed after her family pushed for further investigation. The death certificate eventually was amended to list the cause as undetermined.

Because he wasn't indicted within 180 days of his arrest, the law entitled Baker, 36, to have his cash bond refunded.

"It was an act based solely on the passage of time," Segrest said. "It does not dispose of the criminal charges in the least. Those matters are still under consideration by this office."

Police believe Baker, who reportedly had a mistress, rendered his wife unconscious with sleeping pills, then suffocated her with a pillow from their bedroom as their two daughters slept down the hall.

Baker has denied killing his wife and said he wasn't having an affair with a woman from his church in Lorena. He told police his wife committed suicide because she was despondent over the death of a daughter from cancer.

The wife's family refiled a wrongful death lawsuit against Baker last week. They had withdrawn the suit after Baker's arrest, saying they didn't want their case to interfere with any criminal prosecution.

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