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Former UND student leader's death prompts attorneys to file murder charge against alleged attacker

Adam Baker

A former UND student body president who had been in a coma since May died early this morning, a development that means his alleged attacker will now face a charge of second-degree murder.

Adam Baker, 32, was injured early May 2 after reportedly being punched outside of the Corner Bar in St. Michael, Minn. He began receiving hospice care at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn., last month after a severe stomach infection dimmed hopes of his recovery.

"At approximately 2 a.m. this morning our world grew a good deal dimmer as the bright light that was Adam John Baker passed from this world to the next -- peacefully and with Laurie by his side," this morning's entry on his Caring Bridge website said.

The entry also thanked friends and family members for their support over the past seven months and said funeral arrangements are forthcoming.

Alexander Tuomisto, the 24-year-old St. Michael man accused of knocking Baker unconscious with a single punch to the jaw, was already facing a first-degree assault charge. His punch caused Baker to hit his head on the ground, according to a criminal complaint.

A Wright County District Court deputy administrator told the Herald that an amended criminal complaint was filed today.

The new document added a charge of second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in jail.

Tuomisto will still face the assault charge as well, which carries a maximum of 20 years of jail time, a $30,000 fine or both.

The court administrator said a jury trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 7.

Before he was injured, Baker worked for Delta Air Lines and lived in Dayton, Ohio. He was about to receive a master's degree in aviation management from UND at the time of the incident.

Baker served as UND's student body president during the 2003-2004 school year.