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Local

Baker pleads not guilty

Joliet man charged in murder of Daniel Smiley

Kasim Baker, 31
Kasim Baker, 31

MORRIS – The Joliet man charged in Morris' first murder in nearly 20 years pleaded not guilty following his indictment by a Grundy County grand jury.

Kasim Baker, 31, was represented by Grundy County Public Defender Gary Dobbs. Through Dobbs, Baker also requested a jury trial and was placed on the July jury call.

Baker was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the homicide of Morris man Daniel Smiley. Baker has been in custody since turning himself in to Joliet police March 25.

Smiley, 65, was found on March 8 with multiple stab wounds in an apartment in the 800 block of Twilight Drive in Morris. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In Will County, Baker has previous convictions for battery, criminal trespass and burglary.

At the time of Baker's surrender, Morris Police Chief John Severson said the motive appeared to be robbery.

Baker's next court appearance is scheduled for May 30, with a final pretrial hearing set for June 27.

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