Killer thought he was Satan or Jesus

Man who shot pregnant friend describes delusions at first-degree murder trial

Karen Kleiss,

Published: Friday, October 05, 2007

EDMONTON - Olivia Talbot's killer says he contemplated her murder long before he actually fired the five shots that killed her.

Jared Baker took the stand in his own defence today and told a jury he had driven Talbot to an isolated place intending to kill her once before, but couldn't bring himself to do it.

The 21-year-old has admitted to killing the 19-year-old expectant mother and childhood friend with a .22 calibre rifle in November 2005. A former crystal meth addict, he says he was in the throes of a methamphetamine-induced psychosis at the time.

I just didn't - I just couldn't do it," he said of the night on a deserted road when he had the rifle in the back seat.

"It was really hard to do. She was my friend, I knew that. I just wanted to make sure what I thought was true, that I was going to save everyone by doing it, that I was in fact Jesus."

Baker explained how he came to believe that killing Talbot was necessary.

He said he believed a previous girlfriend had stolen his sperm or his baby and given it to the American government, who then inseminated Talbot with his child. He also said he and Talbot had intercourse and the baby may have been his.

At the time he said he had finally figured out he had special powers, which he called "the gift." He believed the gift was going to be passed to the child Talbot was carrying, but that the child might struggle to recognize the gift, just as he had.

Baker also said he believed Talbot and her unborn baby boy were the serpent, and that he had to crush the serpent's head if he wanted to walk as Jesus.

"I thought in order to walk as Jesus that I had to stop the government from passing the gift onto this new child," he said.

"I had to stop the baby from being born. ... (I had to) kill her."

He said that, at the time, he was convinced that he was the son of Satan, but that he had also variously believed himself to be the angel of death and Jesus.

As defence lawyer Kirk MacDonald led Baker through his bizarre journal entries, Baker explained to jurors that during the height of his methamphetamine use he believed that people could read his mind.

He also believed the government was trying to put him in jail to prevent him from doing the work God put him on earth to do.

Baker explained how he once used a motorcycle crash as an excuse to get an X-ray of his head, thinking the doctor would be obligated to tell him if something had been implanted in his brain.

The mild-mannered killer spoke quietly and with a slight lisp, his hands folded in front of him. He told the jury he came to believe that conversations and documents contained subliminal messages.

In the trial so far, the jury has watched police video of a long, rambling confession in which Baker seems lucid at times but at other times talks of angels and demons and wonders if Talbot was carrying "Lucifer's baby."

The jury has also seen video of Baker showing police where he threw the gun after he shot Talbot.

Alberta's chief medical examiner testified Thursday only one of the five bullets Baker fired into Talbot hit the fetus, but Talbot's "rapid death" from two shots to the head and another severing her aorta killed the baby.

Dr. Graeme Dowling also testified he found methamphetamines in her body at sharply higher concentrations than would be typical for someone limited to prescribed amounts.

The direct examination is expected to continue Tuesday.

Edmonton Journal 2007