Murder of Kari Baker by preacher husband Matt Baker highlighted on Prosecuting Evil With Kelly Siegler

Mugshot of Matt Baker
Former Baptist preacher Matt Baker is serving 65 years in jail. Pic credit: TX Dept. of Justice

Prosecuting Evil With Kelly Siegler is examining the murder of Kari Baker, who was killed by her own husband, Baptist minister Matt Baker, at their home in Hewitt, Texas.

At about midnight on April 8, 2006, Baker phoned the police to say he’d returned home to find his wife, 31-year-old school teacher Kari, lying naked and unresponsive in their bedroom.

The dispatcher gave Baker instructions in CPR, but Kari was pronounced dead a short time later. In the room was an open bottle of sleeping pills and a typed suicide note supposedly written by Kari. The note stated that she loved her two children and was sorry for killing herself.

The grieving husband told the cops his wife had been depressed for some time because of the death of their young child from cancer. The case was ruled a suicide by overdose and closed.

However, Kari’s family refused to believe the doting mother would ever commit suicide. They hired a private investigator who began looking into Baker and found evidence that the Baptist minister had been continuously unfaithful.

The case was eventually reopened, and law enforcement began to suspect Baker of slipping his wife sleeping pills before suffocating her to death. Kari’s remains were exhumed for an autopsy, but unfortunately, the embalming process had destroyed much of the evidence.

Matt Baker admitted to mistress that he killed Kari Baker

The prosecution case would come to rely heavily on Vanessa Bulls. Bulls was a young woman from Baker’s church who admitted to having an affair with the preacher.

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Bulls was tracked down by Kari’s family because Baker had given her his dead wife’s cell phone. She confessed that Baker told her he had killed Kari and that he had done it for her.

Matt and Kari Baker pictured smiling together
Kari pictured with her husband and killer, Matt Baker. Pic credit: Family pic

Baker told Bulls various details about the murder, such as claiming he had wiped his dead wife’s hand over the suicide note in case the police checked it for fingerprints.

Matt Baker convicted of murder of Kari Baker

When the case finally went to trial, the prosecution portrayed Baker as a manipulative, cold-blooded “murdering minister” who took pleasure in getting away with murder. After deliberating for seven and a half hours, a jury agreed with the prosecution.

In January 2010, Baker was convicted of murder and sentenced to 65 years behind bars.

At sentencing, Kari’s mother, Linda Dulin, told her daughter’s killer, “You took her from us, Matt, you discarded her like she was yesterday’s trash … and you left so many other victims. What you did was horrific … and I believe you are capable of much more evil.

Prosecuting Evil With Kelly Siegler airs Saturdays at 8/7c on Oxygen.

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