Makiki murder suspect indicted by grand jury

Published On: Aug 01 2013 12:10:00 PM HST
HONOLULU -

An Oahu grand jury indicted 41-year-old Vernon Baker Thursday in connection with the murder of a Makiki realtor, according to the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.

Baker was indicted on one count of murder in the second degree, two counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, and one count of drug paraphernalia.

Bail is set at $200,000.

The body of Mary Beth San Juan, 56, was found bound and gagged last week outside of her Punahou Street home.  A day later her 2013 silver Mercedes Benz was found abandoned near the Kapiolani Park Bandstand.

A witness that called Honolulu CrimeStoppers said a man that looked like Baker was going through San Juan's Mercedes on the day her body was found.

Another break came when San Juan's wallet was found by a man inside a dumpster at the Hokondo Waikiki Beachside Hostel on Lemon Road two days after the murder investigation began. Police confirmed Baker was a guest at the hostel, and started watching him.

Police say San Juan and Baker were acquaintances, but have not elaborated on how the two first met.  Court documents also show San Juan's ex-husband was with her on the weekend of July 13 when she gave Baker a ride to his home.  The ex-husband told detectives Baker appeared agitated at the time of the encounter.

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