WCSJ Photos

WCSJ Photos 

Grundy County’s first murder trial in 20 years begins Monday morning. Prosecutors say Kasim Baker, 32, of Joliet allegedly stabbed Daniel Smiley, 65, of Morris several times with a kitchen knife at an apartment complex in the 800 block of Twilight Drive in Morris in March of 2019. This comes after Baker allegedly told another individual he was planning to rob Smiley.

Morris Police Chief John Severson said Baker and Smiley knew each other from a mutual acquaintance who previously introduced them. After an investigation, Baker turned himself in to the Joliet Police Department. Prosecutors say Baker’s DNA was found on a bottle of soap and knife which were both left at the apartment complex.

It was announced at a previous court appearance by Grundy County Public Defender Gary Dobbs, that Baker’s defense in this case will be self defense. Baker is facing two counts of first degree murder and has pleaded not guilty. During a bond reduction hearing in early April, Dobbs said Baker has Multiple Myloma.

Jury selection and opening statements will begin this week and the trial will last for about two weeks. Baker remains in the Grundy County Jail on a $2 million bond. If convicted on all charges, Baker is looking at 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.