Former Waco pastor charged with murder in wife’s death

WACO — A former pastor and youth center chaplain has been arrested on a murder charge in connection with his wife’s death that initially was ruled a suicide.

Matt Baker remained jailed Tuesday in Kerr County. Unless he can post $200,000 bail, he will be returned to McLennan County within the next week, authorities said.

Baker, 36, was notified that a warrant had been issued for his arrest Friday afternoon as he taught at Kerrville Tivy High School. He turned himself in several hours later, said his attorney James Rainey.

Rainey told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he didn’t want to comment until after his client returns to McLennan County.

The 2006 death of elementary school teacher Kari Baker in her Waco-area home initially was ruled a suicide by overdose. After urgings from her parents, Hewitt police reopened the investigation, got an order to exhume her body for autopsy and, with help from a Texas Rangers investigator and her parents’ civil litigation team, gathered evidence.

Last week, a justice of the peace amended her death certificate to show the cause was undetermined.

Her parents, Linda and James Dulin, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baker about three months after the death, alleging he drugged her and made her death appear to be a suicide.

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