Man accused of murdering Makiki woman appears in court

Vernon Baker

The man accused of murdering an Oahu realtor has pleaded not guilty.

Vernon Baker, 41, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of 56-year-old Mary Beth San Juan.

Baker was arrested on Saturday at Ala Moana Center.

According to court documents, the weekend before San Juan was found dead, she was having dinner with her ex-husband when Baker called her to ask for a ride home. San Juan’s ex-husband says Baker appeared agitated during the car ride.

Police later received a tip from a witness who said Baker was in the back of San Juan’s silver Mercedes-Benz the same day her body was discovered. The vehicle was parked in San Juan’s driveway with the trunk lid open.

Baker also tried to get a homeless man to sell San Juan’s laptop.

San Juan’s body was found wrapped in carpet on July 23 outside of her Punahou Street home.

His bail remains at $200,000.

He’s set to make his preliminary court appearance on Thursday.

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