Man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend wants to represent himself

2014-05-05T19:45:00Z 2014-05-13T17:24:08Z Man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend wants to represent himselfElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 662-5331 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | A Chicago man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend in 2011 denied the charges Monday and said he wants to represent himself.

Holding a stack of papers, Isiah L. Barker, 30, made his initial appearance in court Monday on charges of murder and feticide. He told Lake Criminal Judge Samuel Cappas that his name is Isiah L. Barker-Bey, and questioned the authority of the state to charge him.

"I did not do or commit any murder in the state of Indiana," Barker said.

Barker was assigned a public defender as standby counsel though he insisted he didn't want an "agent of the court" to represent him. 

"I speak for myself, sir," Barker said. 

Correction officers and deputies surrounded Barker as he read a hand-written statement he called an affidavit of truth. The statement detailed his skepticism of the government and addressed his stance on his nationality. He described himself in the statement as a political hostage. 

The statement did not mention Cynthia Funches, 26, of Highland, who he is accused of killing, according to court records.

Funches, who was about 20 weeks pregnant, was found dead June 22, 2011, in a storage bin inside a garage in the 10000 block of South Normal Avenue in Chicago, according to the affidavit. 

The Cook County medical examiner's office determined Funches died from multiple blunt force trauma due to an assault. 

Barker and Funches were seen about 4 a.m. June 21, 2011, leaving a home in the 4900 block of South Justine Street in Chicago, according to court records. She later called her co-workers that morning and sounded anxious. Her co-workers reported hearing a man in the background ordering Funches to get off the phone. 

The next day, family members asked the apartment complex leasing agents to check on Funches. According to the affidavit, a worker found the apartment in disarray with the carpet pulled up and apparent blood spots on the floor.

According to court records, surveillance videos from nearby stores show Barker and another man purchasing items believed to be connected to the death.  

Barker was charged in 2012 and was arrested in October 2013 during a traffic stop in a city south of Atlanta. He told Cappas he didn't think he could be charged because he wasn't a person but was made of flesh and blood. 

"I beg to differ, you're a human being, these laws apply to you," Cappas said. 

Cappas said he questioned Barker's mental state. A doctor at the Lake County Jail evaluated Barker, but Cappas did not detail the evaluation.

Barker's formal appearance in court is scheduled for May 13. 

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