UPDATE: Authorities track accused killer’s steps before failing to appear for trial

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 11:14 AM CDT
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UPDATE (5 p.m.) - The GPS ankle bracelet that fugitive Michael Bakana was required to wear while he was free on bond traced his steps before he failed to appear Monday for his murder trial.

Bakana, 44, is accused of fatally shooting Mariah Petracca and critically wounding another woman outside Daddio’s bar in Downtown Bloomington on Jan. 30, 2021.

A probation officer said in court that the monitoring device indicated Bakana visited several car shops and tire stores on Friday. He was also tracked visiting Peoria and Champaign before returning home in Normal.

Also on Friday, authorities said they talked to Bakana on Friday about taking his pre-trial drug test, but he reportedly told them he was not able to get a ride to the courthouse.

It was about at 9:20 a.m. Monday that court officials said the GPS ankle bracelet was found on Raab Road in Normal.

Bakana posted $200,000 cash last fall to be released from jail, with $50,000 of that to pay his Chicago-based attorney, Clyde Guilamo.

Bakana had to show the money came from legitimate sources. He also had to surrender his passports, turn over his firearm owner’s identification card and a gun.

He’s forfeiting his bond money, and if Bakana is still on the loose, his trial might go on without him.

Bakana’s defense team is asking Judge Casey Costigan to hold off on trying Bakana until he’s found. At trial, Bakana is expected to argue self-defense.

While police consider Bakana armed and dangerous, defense lawyer Guilamo told 25News he believes the public is not in danger.

“He had to surrender his FOID (card), and as part of his condition he had to surrender his firearm,” said Guilamo.

“Mr. Bakana is not armed. Mr. Bakana is not dangerous,” Guilamo said.

Monday morning, police released a description of Bakana, saying he is Black and speaks with a heavy foreign accent.

He’s 5 feet, 8 inches, weighing 145 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.

Police consider Bakana armed and dangerous, and warn people not to approach him. Instead, they urge the public to call 911 to report a sighting.

Tips can also be sent anonymously by texting 847411 and the word BPDTIPS along with the information.