Opening statements were expected to begin Friday in the murder trial of Thomas J. Fox, accused in the knife slaying of Oakdale nanny Lori Baker in 2011.

A year ago, a Washington County grand jury indicted Fox, now 46, on one count of first-degree premeditated murder and one count of first-degree murder in the course of an aggravated robbery.

Fox had been dating Baker, 39, when she discovered his history as a criminal who had been in and out of prison for years on robbery, theft and drug convictions. She was found dead from stab wounds in her Oakdale apartment on Dec. 28, 2011,. Her car and credit cards were used after her death.

Baker worked for the same family for nine years. She liked doing craft projects and bowled with a league in Apple Valley.

A Washington County assistant attorney, Imran Ali, will make opening statements for the prosecution. County Attorney Pete Orput, a longtime homicide prosecutor, also will participate in the trial. A team of public defenders will represent Fox.

Jury selection, which began Monday, ended Thursday.

Fox had fled a halfway house in St. Paul where he was under house arrest before he met Baker.

He currently is in Stillwater Prison on an unrelated charge until August.

An inmate at Stillwater told police that Fox told of how he drove around Minneapolis in Baker’s car and charged gas purchases on her credit card while on a crack binge with another woman.

Kevin Giles