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Second day of trial for man charged in Florida Capitol threats

Posted at 2:18 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 22:47:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A 12-person jury is now deciding the fate of the Tallahassee man accused of trying to rally people to surround pro-Trump protesters with guns at the Florida Capitol. It's a case that took attorneys only a little more than a day to deliberate.

Federal prosecutors rested their case Wednesday morning against Daniel Baker, charged with making threats to violently defend the Florida Capitol in January.

Baker stands at 5’3" and is 130 pounds. He and his character witnesses testified that due to his small size, he was frequently bullied. Baker eventually took Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes.

One of his former classmates testified that he was an easy-going person. The defense called three other witnesses: Baker's friend, someone who trained with him at the Jiu-Jitsu gym, and an investigator with the public defender's office.

Baker says he was homeless for a while. He said he would lose jobs because he often defended his coworkers experiencing racism and sexism.

During his testimony, Baker said he joined the military with hopes of becoming a sniper to make his father, a police officer who gave him his love for firearms, proud.

He said he later join YPG, a “leftist militia” focused on fighting ISIS in Syria. Baker says he agreed with the group's feminist message and was compelled to join.

Baker says he became a target of right-wing extremist groups. To intimidate them, he began to post online about his “kills” overseas. He says those numbers were exaggerated to appear tougher and make people less likely to try to come after him.

The prosecution objected to specifics, but Baker did say his father played a role in his dislike for law enforcement.

This is a developing story.