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First day of trial for man charged in Florida Capitol threats

Posted at 6:37 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 18:38:10-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Tallahassee man accused of trying to stage an armed counter-protest against Trump supporters at the Florida Capitol in January is now facing trial.

It took the first half of the day to seat the jury in Daniel Baker's trial. Forty-six people were summoned Tuesday morning. By noon, the court narrowed that number down to 12 jurors and one alternate.

The jury consists of five white women, one black man, one black woman one Hispanic man, one Asian man, and four white men.

The prosecution called its first four witnesses today. Special Agent Nicholas Marti with the FBI was the first.

The prosecution's questions focused on Baker's background and what led to his arrest. Special Agent Marti says just after the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, Baker posted on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube asking his followers to come out to any Pro-Trump protest and circle around the protesters with their guns.

Special Agent Marti says they received a 25,000-page subpoena from Facebook full of Baker's online presence. Those documents gave the FBI a closer look into what they say were his radical ideologies, including a previous stint fighting ISIS in Syria, anti-law enforcement beliefs, and a passion for guns.

Baker was under the FBI's watch even before January 6. In October, FBI agents began tracking his social media about attacks on law enforcement according to arrest documents.

All of these topics are expected to be discussed as the trial progresses.

Baker's public defender told the jury in his opening statement that Baker will testify, along with his roommate as well the potential of Sheriff Walt McNeil.