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Hawaii man sentenced to life in prison for murder

Updated: 
May 18, 2017 - 12:27pm

HONOLULU — A Hawaii man who pleaded guilty to murdering a real estate agent and actress has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 20 years.

Vernon Baker was sentenced Wednesday for the murder that occurred nearly four years ago, Hawaii News Now reported.

Baker stabbed Mary Beth San Juan to death before leaving her body wrapped in a rug in the driveway of her home, police and prosecutors said.

Baker said in court he does not believe he deserves to live. He had described his crime as senseless.

“I can’t, I can’t apologize,” Baker said. “I can, but I can’t. There’s no possible thing I can say to make this right. I don’t deserve to live, I don’t deserve to live.”

Baker met San Juan and her ex-husband just weeks before the murder.

“Mary Beth had helped Mr. Baker in the past find a place to stay for months,” the victim’s ex-husband Alberto San Juan said. “And I don’t understand how he can do this to somebody who’s as beautiful as Mary Beth, who has always been nice to people. I just didn’t understand that.”

The Parole Board will next take up issue of whether Baker will serve the rest of his life in prison or the 20 year minimum.

“There is no doubt that this is a heinous crime, and what even Mr. Baker believes is a senseless crime,” Circuit Judge Paul Wong said.

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