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ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER - Aged 10 years - Hickory, North Carolina (USA)

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default Re: ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER - Aged 10 years - Hickory, North Carolina (USA)

Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:06 am

‎Charlotte Observer

15 September 2011

Zahra Baker's family gathers for stepmother's hearing today

The judge hearing the murder case against Elisa Baker postponed the case until today to allow victim Zahra Baker's mother and other family members a chance to attend hearing.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/09/15/2607995/bakers-family-gathering-for-zaira.html

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:09 am

CNN International

16 September 2011

NC woman pleads guilty to killing, dismembering stepdaughter

A North Carolina woman will serve at least 14 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in the death last year of her 10-year-old stepdaughter.

As part of a plea agreement, Elisa Baker admitted killing Zahra Baker and attempting to thwart investigators by planting a fake ransom note at the family's Hickory, North Carolina, home in October 2010. Zahra's body was dismembered and some of the remains were found a month later.

The freckle-faced girl's disappearance and search drew national attention. Zahra had lost part of her left leg at age 5 and lost hearing in both her ears while undergoing treatment for cancer.

Dressed in a pink jail jumpsuit, Baker answered Judge Timothy Kincaid's questions in a soft voice during her plea hearing Thursday. Kincaid advised her that she will face between 14 years, nine months, and 18 years, six months in prison.

Kincaid had already agreed to move Baker's murder trial out of Catawba County because of pretrial publicity in the case. The judge was supposed to announce Monday where the trial would be held, according to CNN affiliate WCNC, but that hearing was put on hold because of the pending plea deal.

Baker also pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction of justice, bigamy, obtaining property by false pretenses and identity fraud.


http://edition.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/09/15/north.carolina.slain.girl/

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:17 am

CBS News

16 September 2011

Zahra Baker's stepmother pleads guilty to second-degree murder in death of disabled 10-year-old

Elisa Baker, the North Carolina woman charged with murdering her disabled 10-year-old stepdaughter, pleaded guilty Thursday in Zahra Baker's disappearance and death. It was a tragedy that shocked communities here and in Zahra's native Australia.

The 43-year-old entered a guilty plea to second degree murder, with aggravating factors that included desecrating the body of Zahra Baker, who wore a prosthetic leg and hearing aids after a struggle with bone cancer.
Elisa Baker also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the case, and to charges unrelated to Zahra's death, including obtaining property by false pretenses and financial identity fraud.

The plea deal revealed unknown details about the case including the fact that when Zahra died Elisa Baker helped police find Zahra's body - but only after there were 58 searches over the span of about 2 weeks, reports CBS affiliate WBTV.

Parts of Zahra's body were found in multiple sites around Hickory, N.C. months after her disappearance was reported. Her armbone, prosthetic leg, torso and pelvic area were found, investigators said in court Thursday. But her head and many other body parts were never found. A saw, which police believe was used to dismember Zahra, was also found.

The plea deal also revealed that Elisa Baker found Zahra unresponsive in her room the day she died on Sept. 24, 2010. Elisa Baker told police she tried to help Zahra, investigators said.

After the plea was announced Thursday morning, the prosecutor in the case said that the family of Zahra is entitled to the cost of transporting the child to Australia for a proper burial.

Adam Baker, Zahra's father and Elisa's husband, was present in the courtroom, 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. Adam Baker, who came to the U.S. with his daughter after meeting Elisa online, faces multiple criminal charges of his own, although none are related to his daughter's death.


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20106740-504083.html

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:21 am

Sky News

16 September 2011

'Evil' Stepmother Admits Killing Young Girl

The stepmother of a 10-year-old Australian girl has pleaded guilty to murdering and dismembering her.

Elisa Baker, 43, faces up to 18 years in prison for killing young bone cancer survivor Zahra Baker.

The girl's murder horrified the public in both Australia and the US state of North Carolina, where Zahra had lived with her father and stepmother.


http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16070885

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:25 am

WBTV

16 September 2011

Cleared in Zahra's death, what's next for Adam Baker?

Now that Adam Baker, Zahra's father, has been completely exonerated by prosecutors in the death of his 10 year old girl, what's next for him?

He's from Australia and moved here after he married Elisa Baker, who Thursday pleaded guilty in the murder of her stepdaughter Zahra.

Adam Baker is no longer needed for any testimony or information regarding Zahra's death or dismemberment. But, he might not be ready to return to the land down under just yet.

He has a few charges from the State of North Carolina: felony obtaining property by false pretense and identify fraud.

His attorney told WBTV Thursday that he hopes to have Adam's situation resolved in the coming weeks. That would take care of the state charges.

But, the real question is what the Feds want to do with Adam Baker regarding the remaining drug charges against Elisa Baker. Will they need him to stick around to testify against her in any trial?

Right now, Elisa Baker's trial for those drug charges is planned for November. But, it could be pushed back or even expedited if Elisa Baker decides to negotiate a plea deal.

Adam Baker is still being monitored by the federal immigration authorities who think he might be here illegally. His basis for being in the US was his marriage to Elisa Baker, which has been proven to be a sham. Elisa admitted to bigamy charges in her plea deal Thursday.

Whenever he returns to Australia, Adam Baker has made it clear that he just wants to return home with Zahra's remains and give her a proper burial.

He said in his courtroom statement Thursday that he also hoped Elisa Baker would reveal where the rest of Zahra's remains are buried.


http://www.wbtv.com/story/15479878/whats-next-for-adam-baker

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:28 am

Los Angeles Times

16 September 2011

Zahra Baker's stepmother sentenced in her dismemberment, slaying

The disappearance of 10-year-old Zahra Baker drew international attention in October when her stepmother in Catawba County, N.C., told police that the freckle-faced, disabled girl had vanished and might have been kidnapped.

Police issued an Amber Alert and launched search parties for Zahra, whose two bouts with cancer had left her with a prosthetic leg and impaired hearing.

But suspicion soon fell on Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, after police charged her with writing a phony ransom note. Baker later cut a deal with prosecutors: She would lead them to Zahra’s buried remains in exchange for a promise that they not charge her with first-degree murder.

On Thursday, Baker, 43, was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and other charges, the Charlotte Observer reports.

"This is the case that will haunt this community until the time I take to a rocking chair and leave this place," Judge Timothy Kincaid, who sentenced Baker, was quoted as saying.

Police testimony said Baker had physically abused Zahra at least three times, including on at least one occasion for accidentally urinating on herself.

Baker led police to three sites where parts of her stepdaughter’s dismembered remains were dug up and recovered, including gel liner from her prosthetic leg. But the rest of Zahra’s remains are still missing.

Zahra’s mother, Emily Dietrich, attended the court hearing after traveling from Australia, where she lives and where her daughter was born.

"Is she cold, or is she somewhere the sun always shines?" Dietrich was quoted as telling the court, saying she constantly wonders whether her daughter is at peace.

Prosecutor Jay Gaither said he anguished over the decision to forgo first-degree murder charges, the Observer reported. But without clear evidence showing how Zahra died, Gaither feared Baker might go free if he didn’t cut a deal.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/zahra-baker-stepmother.html

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:31 am

Kingsport Times News

16 September 2011

Stepmother sentenced to 15 to 18 years for murder of 10-year-old disabled girl ‎

Nearly a year after a freckled-faced 10-year-old's remains were found among piles of dead animals in North Carolina's rural Caldwell County, her stepmother pleaded guilty to her murder Thursday, in a courtroom crowded by reporters.

Elisa Baker, 43, was sentenced to about 15 to 18 years in prison by Judge Timothy Kincaid after he heard several hours of testimony from investigators, followed by emotional statements from the parents of victim Zahra Baker.

The hearing opened Thursday morning at the Catawba County Courthouse with Baker and her attorney, Scott Reilly, entering a guilty plea, as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Baker pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, aggravated by her admissions that she abused Zahra and tried to throw investigators off her path. Elisa Baker also pleaded guilty to six minor charges.

Perhaps the most emotional moments came in the afternoon, when Emily Dietrich, Zahra Baker's biological mother, and Adam Baker, the girl's father, made statements to the court.

Dietrich, who traveled to North Carolina from Australia, where she gave birth to Zahra and where the young girl spent the first eight years of her life, said her daughter's death "traumatized my family to the point of ripping it apart."

"We are trying to understand how such horrible things can happen to beautiful people," she added.

Then Dietrich added, "I wonder if Zahra is at peace. Is she cold, or is she somewhere the sun always shines? Is she wet, or does she feel the warmth of swimming through a wonderful dream?"

Adam Baker aimed his comments at his wife, saying, "Elisa, I trusted you with the most precious thing in my life. You not only lied to me, you lied to Zahra.

"There are no words to explain the hate I have for you, and the pain and loss I suffer every day."

Elisa Baker, who went from the United States to Australia to marry Adam Baker and then moved back to North Carolina with him and Zahra in 2008, looked straight ahead and avoided glancing at her husband as he spoke.

Reilly, Elisa Baker's attorney, asked Kincaid for mercy and apologized to Adam Baker in his remarks.

"Elisa is emotionally devastated and wrecked," he said. "The only thing she wishes me to convey is that she is deeply sorry for the hurt she has caused."


http://www.timesnews.net/article/9035919/stepmother-sentenced-to-15-to-18-years-for-murder-of-10-year-old-disabled-girl

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Post  Twiglet on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:34 am

Despite how the media are reporting this case It is unclear if Elisa Baker has actually been sentenced!!

After making a plea bargain she faces up to a maximum of 18 years in prision.

We now await formal sentencing before moving this case to our closed (archived cases)section!!!!


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Post  Twiglet on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:20 am

WCNC

18 September 2011

Zahra Baker's birth mother speaks for the first time

Emily Dietrich is now back home in Australia, but there is still unfinished business for the woman who admitted killing Dietrich's biological daughter, Zahra Baker.

The 10-year-old girl was reported missing from her Hickory home October 9, 2010, by her father and step-mother, Adam and Elisa Baker.

A month later, enough of the little girl’s remains – scattered across two counties – had been positively identified to confirm her death. An autopsy listed the cause of death as “undetermined homicidal violence,” and despite a plea deal, police still can’t say how she died.

The police search for Zahra came just as Dietrich had finally found the daughter she gave up ten years earlier at birth. She was ecstatic -- but only for a few days. Then she learned of Zahra’s disappearance and eventual death.

Thursday, Dietrich watched Elisa Baker plead guilty to second degree murder for Zahra’s death. Baker still claimed Zahra died of natural causes, but police said there is too much conflicting evidence to believe everything she’s said.

Sunday Dietrich sat down with NewsChannel 36 for her only American TV interview since the ordeal began.

She said in court Thursday she couldn’t look at Elisa Baker, only glare for a moment.

“I mainly wanted her to see me,” said Dietrich, “and for her to see the pain that she's caused on my face and my mother’s face.”

Dietrich expressed that while a plea deal isn’t a perfect resolution to Zahra’s case, it guarantees Elisa Baker will spend time in prison. Her biggest fear was that Baker would go to trial, be found not guilty, and go free.

But she still has unanswered questions — like why Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, didn’t do more to protect the little girl. Police say the evidence shows Adam Baker was not involved in Zahra’s death.

“I still hold a lot of resentment towards him,” Dietrich said forcefully.


http://www.wcnc.com/news/Zahra-Bakers-birth-mother-speaks-for-the-first-time-130088813.html

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Post  Twiglet on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:22 am

Herald Sun

19 September 2011

Zahra Baker's birth mum Emily Dietrich blames girl's dad Adam for murder

THE Australian birth mother of murdered schoolgirl Zahra Baker says she still holds Zahra's father responsible for her death.

Emily Dietrich, who flew to North Carolina last week to attend the sentencing of Zahra's stepmother Elisa Baker, told Charlotte television network WCNC she was relieved Baker would spend time in prison for the 10-year-old's murder.

Baker pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Thursday and was sentenced to 15-18 years in prison, after striking a plea deal with prosecutors.

Dietrich, from Wagga Wagga, NSW, had not seen Zahra since she was a baby, when she gave custody to Zahra's father Adam Baker while suffering from postnatal depression.

Before leaving North Carolina on Sunday, Dietrich told WCNC's NewsChannel 36 she had mixed emotions about leaving the last place Zahra called home.

She also spoke about her anger towards Zahra's father.

Although the evidence showed he did not take part in the murder, Dietrich still held him responsible, WCNC reported.

"I still hold a lot of resentment towards him. There's a big difference between being not guilty and being innocent, and I don't think he is innocent of what happened. He had played all his own part," Dietrich said, in an excerpt of an interview with WCNC due to go to air in the US on Sunday night.


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/zahra-bakers-birth-mum-emily-dietrich-blames-girls-dad-adam-for-murder/story-e6frf7jx-1226140905425

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Post  Twiglet on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:25 am

United Press International

19 September 2011

Zahra Baker's mother wants answers in death

Zahra Baker's birth mother, in her first U.S. interview, says she wants to know what role the girl's father played in the death of their 10-year-old daughter.

Emily Dietrich, told WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., she flew to the United States from Australia so the girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, could see her face in court last week. Baker pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the 10-year-old's death.


http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/09/19/Zahra-Bakers-mother-wants-answers-in-death/UPI-41181316449324/‎

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Post  Twiglet on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:27 am

Hickory Daily Record

20 September 2011

Zahra's killer moved to Mecklenburg jail

Elisa Baker has left the building.

She was taken from the Catawba County jail at about 10:30 a.m. Monday and arrived at the Mecklenburg County jail about an hour later.

Sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison following her guilty plea in the murder of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra, Baker still faces seven federal drug charges.

She’ll reside in the Mecklenburg County jail as she waits for her upcoming Nov. 7 federal court date.

Baker, 43, faces a maximum of $4.75 million in fines and 140 years in jail for the federal charges.


http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/sep/20/zahras-killer-moved-mecklenburg-jail-ar-1412783/

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Post  Twiglet on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:31 am

Sentence:-

Elisa Baker has been sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison following her guilty plea in the murder of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra Baker.



She also faces several fedral drug charges, this will go to trial in November!


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Post  Twiglet on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:36 am

RIP ZAHRA



O Angels of God, from heaven so bright,
watching beside my children to lead them aright;
Fold your wings round them, and guard them with love;
Softly sing songs to them of heaven above

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Post  Tezza on Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:05 am

Sky News

Mum: Why I Had To Face My Daughter's Killer

4:10pm UK, Wednesday September 21, 2011

Jonathan Samuels, Australia correspondent

The mother of murdered 10 year old Australian girl Zahra Baker has described why she wanted to look her daughter's killer in the face.

http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16074396

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