TEXAS CITY — Few would blame Monetta “Jeannie” Baker Escamilla for taking some time to rest and reflect after a year that saw the man who raped and murdered her daughter 16 years ago sent to prison. But the conviction was not the end for Escamilla, who plans to push for a law that could make it easier for police to catch people like the man who killed her daughter, Krystal Baker.
In April, Kevin Edison Smith, 45, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. Smith would likely never have even been charged in Baker’s death were it not for a mandatory DNA testing law in Louisiana, where he was arrested on a drug charge. Authorities put his DNA into a national database that connected him to what had been an unsolvable case.