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ZAHRA BAKER (10) - DISAPPEARANCE A HOMICIDE - ELISA BAKER INDICTED FOR MURDER - PRE-TRIAL -TRIAL & SENTENCING

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#61 [url]

Jan 28 11 8:18 PM

2011 - April 11 -  New court dates for both Adam Baker and Elisa Baker on previously
                          filed charges.

Elisa Baker for: obstruction of justice for writing a false ransom note; one count of bigamy.
Adam Baker for: five counts of worthless checks, assault with a deadly weapon, two counts
of communicating threats and failure to return rental property.

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#62 [url]

Jan 31 11 7:49 PM

2011 - January 31 - Hickory N.C. Police Dept. has turned over the Zahra Baker case file
                              over to the District Attorney's Office.

 

The case file consists of:

2 five-inch notebooks, 117 DVDs of interviews, 65 DVDs with maps, phone records,

photos, and other documents.

 

11,000 pages on discs (not including records/files the N.C. SBI (State Bureau of Investigation

will submit as part of its investigation.)

 

 
 Major Deal (Hickory Police Dept.)
"There is absolutely no reason to rush this thing because there's not any second
chances and we have to get it right the first time. The District Attorney's Office in
Catawba County has begun the process of sifting through the investigative file in
the Zahra Baker case, a process that could take weeks."

 

Eric Farr (Spokesman, District Attorney’s Office)

"Now we begin the process of evaluating it and determining what charges will be filed.”

 

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#63 [url]

Feb 5 11 7:09 PM

                   ELISA BAKER - A BIGAMOUS CONARTIST

Before Elisa Baker ever came into contact with Zahra Baker and her father Adam,
she was leaving broken hearts, marriages, and absconding with household assets.

AP is reporting that their research via divorce and marriage licenses, and interviews
with former husbands, relatives and acquaintances, has turned up information that
Elisa Fairchild (maiden name) had been married 7 times, some of which were
bigamous, and had 42 addresses in 7 years, and is described as "abusive."

 "Elisa Fairchild stayed a step ahead of authorities by abandoning relationships and
 reinventing herself, often marrying vulnerable men, some with disabilities. She had
42 addresses in seven years."

 1985 - September 14 - Jerry Allen Winkler (Lenoir, NC)
 1986 - January 29 - Marriage annulled due to Elisa Fairchild being a minor.

 1987 - September 5 - Joseph Proctor (Gaffney, SC)

Examiner - 1989 - During her second marriage, she was served a restraining order,
                          after stating to her mother-in-law: "If I have to get out of here, I’ll
                          burn the house down. I’m going to kill this baby. I’m going to wreck
                          this car. I’ll kill those kids."

                         Her third and fourth husbands both say she abused her daughters.
                         The fifth says she beat him with a baseball bat and threw rocks at him.

 1992 - February 6 - Divorce

 1992 - April 17 - Andrew Harris Jr. (Gaffney, SC)

Andrew Harris Jr.
''This is a woman who thought she could talk her way out of anything, that she
was smarter than everybody else. But she never told the truth. She hurt a lot of
people.''

"After a fight in early 1994, about 18 months into our marriage,
I left the house for a few days. When I returned, it had been cleaned
out and Elisa was gone."

NO DIVORCE
 
Bigamous Marriage -
1995 - February 4 - Darrell Putnam (Gaffney, SC)

10 months later -
1995 - December 14 - Divorce from Andrew Harris

 1997 - October 3 - Jeffrey Allred (Lenoir, NC)

Jeffrey Allred
"The experience had been so damaging that I never wed again."

NO DIVORCE - marriage has never been legally disolved.

Bigamous Marriage -
1998 - August 8 - Aaron Young (Gaffney, SC)

1999 - November 22 - Divorce from Darrell Putnam, a bigamous marriage.

Bigamous Marriage -
2008 - July 8 - Adam Baker (Australia)

2009 - August 21 - Divorce from Aaron Young, a bigamous marriage.

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#64 [url]

Feb 21 11 3:49 PM

ADAM BAKER'S BIGAMOUS "WIFE" ELISA IS INDICTED FOR

MURDER

 
2011 - February 21 - Grand Jury Indictment - ELISA BAKER charged with 2nd Degree
                                Murder

Jay Gaither (Prosecutor, 25th District)

"Elisa Baker, is accused of abusing, murdering and desecrating the body of Zahra

Baker, a 10-year-old cancer survivor.

 

At this time the state has no credible evidence to suggest that anyone other than
Elisa Baker was involved in the murder of Zahra Clare Baker."
 

                               INDICTMENT (pdf file)

 
I. SECOND DEGREE MURDER
The jurors for the State upon their oath present that on or about the date of offense
shown (September 24, 2010) and in the county named above the defendant named
above unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did of malice aforethought kill and murder
Zahra Clare Baker.

II. AGGRAVATING FACTORS
 
The jurors for the State upon their oath present that with respect to the offense
alleged in Count I the following aggravating factors reasonably related to the
purposes of sentencing exist pursuant to N.C.G.S. 15A-1340.16(d)(20):
1. The defendant had a history and pattern of physical, verbal and psychological
    abuse of the victim;
2. The defendant secreted the victim from family and others prior to and after the
    offense, delaying detection of the offense;
3. The defendant desecrated the victim's body to hinder detection, investigation 
    and prosecution of the offense and;
The jurors for the State upon their oath present that with respect to the offense alleged
in Count I the following statuatory aggravating factors exist pursuant to N.C. G.S.
15A-1340.16:

1. The victim was very young, physically ifirm, or handicapped. N.C.G.S. 15A-1340.16 (d) (11);
2. The defendant took advantage of a position of trust or confidence, including a domestic 
    relationship, to commit the offense. N.C.G.S. 15A -1340.16 (d) (15).

                                   BOND INCREASED

 

 Elisa Baker's bond was increased and now totals $307,700 for

17 different charges.... including murder.

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#65 [url]

Feb 21 11 3:52 PM

Zahra Clare Baker's death is deemed "undetermined homicidal violence." The child was
identified by DNA. Her skull, her hands and other bones have yet to be discovered.

MEDICAL EXAMINER REPORT
AUTOPSY EXAMINATION

The following is a description of cut/tool mark injuries identified on the partial
skeletal remains. These injuries indicate that the decedent was dismembered
and are presumed to have occurred postmortem.

The 5th cervical vertebra, which is the most superior vertebra found, exhibits
two distinct cut marks to the anterior aspect of the right superior articular
process. Within the same plane are cut marks across the superior surface of C5
involving the bilateral uncinate processes and anterior tubercles with resulting bone
loss. There is a cut mark on the anterior left clavicle near the acromion end.

There are approximately eleven cut marks located on the right femur ranging in
length from 9mm to 22mm. One cut mark is partially through the neck.

Two other cut marks are on the surface of the anterior neck and closely adjacent.
There are at least seven cut marks on the shaft of the femur. The distal end of the
bone is partially cut through and then fractured leaving a bone spur of about 15mm
on the posterior aspect.

The right fifth rib has a 22mm bone spur at the angle.
Both the right fifth and sixth ribs exhibit healed fractures at the angle.
These may be iatrogenic, occurring during the right lobectomy surgical procedure.
Many of the bones are not discovered and remain unexamined, including the skull,
mandible, first through forth cervical vertebrae, manubrium, sternum, xiphoid, first
right rib, right humerus, right and left radius, right and left ulna,right and left hands,
left femur, right patella, right tibia, right fibula and right foot.

Scavenging is noted on the left humerus, thoracic vertebrae #10 and #11, bilateral
 ribs #11, right rib #12, right scapula and pelvis. There are recovery associated
fractures on the sternal ends of right ribs #8 and #9.

Partial skeletal remains confirmed by DNA analysis to be those of Zahra Baker were
recovered from two separate locations.

Autopsy examination reveals the partial skeletal remains of a sub-adult human.
Many of the bones are not present for examination, most notably the skull.
Several of the bones exhibit cutting tool marks that are consistent with
dismemberment.

The marks grossly appear to result from the use of at least two different cutting
instruments. Two of the right ribs exhibit healed remote fractures which may be the
result of prior surgical intervention. There is no evidence of bony neoplastic disease.
Based on the history and autopsy findings, it is our opinion that the cause of death
in this case is undetermined omicidal violence.

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#66 [url]

Feb 21 11 3:55 PM

 Adam Baker talks to WBTV (Scroll down page to read this portion of article)
 
60 Minutes Australia is a current affairs program which is based on the CBS
 version in the United States with the same name.
"Adam told 60 Minutes, it is difficult for him to be here in the U.S. where people
think he is a murderer.
When asked about his alleged involvement in her death, Adam said he had no
part in any of it, and that he didn't feel there was a case against him.
"I had no part in my daughter's death or dismemberment," he said.
Adam also said he believes Elisa did play some role in Zahra's death and
disappearance, and he believes she would still be alive today if he had
never brought Elisa into their lives."

MORE AT LINK

VIDEO of interview

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#67 [url]

Feb 23 11 10:15 PM

2011 - Febraury 23 - Judge appoints lawyer to handle murder case.

Judge Robert Ervin appointed Scott Reilly (already handling Elisa Baker's
charges of obstruction of justice and bigamy) as her attorney in the 2nd
Degree Murder case against her.

 

James Gaither (Catawba County District Attorney)

"Elisa “ was assigned an attorney, and that has to happen before the case

can move forward."

 
 
2011 - April 4 - Arraignment on 2nd Degree Murder charges will take place.

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#68 [url]

Mar 1 11 11:15 PM

2011 - March 28 - More felony charges levied against Elisa Baker.

A Caldwell County Grand Jury has indicted Elisa Baker with 2 counts of identity fraud
and obtaining property by false pretenses. In March & April of 2010, Elisa Baker used
her oldest daughter Brittany Starbucks (residing with her mother at the time) social
security number, drivers license number and birthdate to obtain cell phone and utility
(electric) services in Catawba County.


Attorney Herb Pearce (not connected to the case)
“If she was convicted of these offenses, it might raise her level of culpability to
as how much time she could get. A person convicted of second-degree murder
without any previous convictions could face 12 years of jail time. But if other
felony convictions are present, a judge could add time onto a sentence, up to
32 years. Baker does not currently have any previous felony convictions.

I think that while the strategy might work, it wouldn’t amount to significant time
if Baker were to be convicted. “Certainly by months. You'd have to look at the
sentencing chart."


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#70 [url]

Mar 26 11 5:42 PM

 

2011 - March 21 -  CHANGE OF VENUE PLANS

Elisa Baker is facing charges in two counties, and her attorney Scott Reilly plans

to seek change of venues for the felony cases.

 

Scott Reilly
"I  can't imagine her getting a fair trial in this area, and I can't think of an area

 around here where she could get a fair trial. When Elisa Baker gets her day

in court, it should be far away from the county where she's accused of killing

and dismembering her stepdaughter. I think the other felony cases should be

moved, too.  I don't see any way around it, because she's entitled to a fair trial

no matter how big or how small."

 

Reilly has not yet filed for change of venue.

 

District Attorney’s Office

"It is up to a judge to decide on any possible change of venue."

 

                                       ADDITIONAL FELONY CHARGES

 

Elisa Baker has been indicted and arraigned on additional charges, two counts of

obtaining property by false pretense:

 

2010 - August 8 - Elisa Baker pawned two items, which she did not own.

 

Warrant: "Elisa Baker pawned a 46 inch tv for $200 at Hickory Pawn and Gun.

                She knew she was not entitled to the money because she did not own

               the television and did not have the authority to pawn it. Baker “unlawfully,

               willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly with the intent to

               cheat and defraud” money from the pawn shop, and that it was “calculated

               to deceive and did deceive.”

 

2010 - September 7 -

Warrant: "Elisa Baker returned to the store and pawned a pressure washer for

                $100.  Baker “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and

                designedly with the intent to cheat and defraud” money from the 

                pawn shop, and that it was “calculated to deceive and did deceive.”

 

Mitchell McCoy (Hickory Pawn and Gun Manager)

"When people come to Hickory Pawn and Gun to sell an item, they must have

a state-issued photo ID or a driver’s license.  After an item is sold, information

from all transactions is given to the Hickory Police Department and the Catawba

County Sheriff’s Office. The store has been open 23 years, and less than 1 

percent of the time we have problems with merchandise that should not have been

sold. There is no set way to tell if something was stolen, although the store tries

to judge how well someone knows the product they’re pawning. We also have

people call the shop, to let us know to watch for items stolen from their homes.

The police department will also alert us of certain people."

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#71 [url]

Apr 12 11 10:26 PM

2011 - April 12 -  ADAM BAKER ARRESTED ON 2 FELONY CHARGES
                         
HICKORY RECORD

"Hickory Police charged Baker with one count each of identity theft and obtaining

property by false pretense. The charges come from Baker getting services from

Duke Energy in the name of  James Starbuck at his home on 21st Avenue, NW,

in Hickory, said Maj. Clyde Deal with the Hickory Police Department. Adam and

his family moved to the house in mid-July from Caldwell County. “It was about the

time they moved into the house,” said Capt. Thurman Whisnant with the Hickory

Police Department. “It was for activation of services at the house."

 

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

 
"Major Clyde Deal said Adam Baker is being held on a $10,000 bond and
will be arraigned Wednesday morning in Catawba County. Police said the
charges filed on Tuesday are related to obtaining services from Duke Energy
and not connected to the murder investigation."

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#72 [url]

May 4 11 8:39 PM

2011 - May 4 -   Arraignment for felony charges. NO PLEA DEAL
 
 
"Elisa Baker pleaded not guilty in her arraignment hearing for four felony
charges in Caldwell County Wednesday afternoon. Baker, 42, was in
court for two counts each of felony identity theft and felony obtaining
property by false pretenses. She is accused of using her daughter’s
information to obtain phone and communication information from
CenturyLink at a Hudson residence, as well as that same daughter’s
information to get services from Duke Energy."
 

Judge Beverly Beal inquired whether a plea had been offered by the

district attorney’s office. "There has been no plea offer, there will not

be a plea offer extended,”  Bellas said.

 

The next administrative court date will be July 11.

 
 
 
MORE AT LINK

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#73 [url]

May 4 11 8:40 PM

WSOCTV

"Baker was arraigned and entered not guilty pleas on the two felony charges.

 


"The charges have nothing to do with Zahra's disappearance but could be important
 in the case. If one jury convicted Baker on the unrelated felony charges and another
jury convicted her in Zahra's death, then a judge could give Baker a much longer
sentence. "

MORE AT LINK

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#75 [url]

Jun 2 11 6:08 PM

2011 - June 2 - U.S. DISTRICT FEDERAL COURT - Elisa Baker pleads Not Guilty
                        to drug charges. She is held without bail on the drug charges.

                       Baker will be tried in Statesville District, Judge Richard Voorhees 
                       presiding. If convicted - Baker faces a prison term of 115 years,
                       and a $4.2 million fine.

 
HICKORY RECORD

Elisa Baker was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 18 on three counts of
distribute and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, three
counts of using and maintaining a residence to distribute a controlled substance
and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute
a controlled substance.


According to the indictment, Baker’s illegal drug activity dated from May 2006

to October 2010, and involves Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Alprazolam.
Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are prescription medications used to treat
moderate pain. Alprazolam, also known as Xanax, is primarily used for anxiety.

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#76 [url]

Jun 18 11 7:53 PM

2011 - June 13 - Hearings re-scheduled


2011 - AugustCourt Hearing Date - Adam Baker
                        Simple worthless checks, communicating threats and failure
                        to return rental property.

   Attorney Shell Pearce
   "Adam has already paid the money owed on the worthless
   checks and is hoping to clear those charges."

2011 - November - Court Hearing - Elisa Baker
                             Elisa Baker is currently under a  Federal detainer in the
                            Catawba County jail, charged with 7 Federal drug charges.
 
Attorney Scott Reilly
"You have to get a writ to bring them to another county. A writ has to be granted
by the U.S. Attorney. A writ is not usually granted for misdemeanor charges."

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#77 [url]

Jun 18 11 8:01 PM

WSOCTV

"A bill triggered by a slain 10-year-old Hickory girl is now on the governor’s desk.

The bill would make it a felony to dismember a body in an effort to conceal a crime
or natural death. 
 
The current draft of the new law would make the following changes:

-- Dismembering or destroying human remains by removing or obliterating body
parts would be a Class F felony. Doing so while knowing that the person did not
die of natural causes would become a Class C felony. In the proposed law, the
term “human remains means any dead human body in any condition of decay
or significant part of a dead human body, including any limb, organ, or bone."

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#78 [url]

Jun 27 11 5:57 PM

WBTV 
 

2011 - June 27 -"The step-mother of Zahra Baker, who was killed sometime last
                         year, was rescheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. The
                         hearings in Catawba County Superior Court, which were originally
                         scheduled for Monday morning, will give defense attorneys a chance
                         to present motions in the case against Elisa Baker, who is charged
                         in the death of the young girl."

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#79 [url]

Jul 12 11 11:11 PM

WBTV

"An attorney in the Zahra Baker murder case has filed a change of venue motion
arguing that the stepmother of the child should be tried for second-degree murder
elsewhere. The motion was filed on Tuesday morning in Superior Court and says
that Elsa Baker "cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial" in Catawba County.

The motion says that the second-degree murder indictment in the death of

10-year-old Zahra Baker "involves one of the most highly publicized crimes

ever in Catawba County." Cited in the motion is coverage in area newspapers

and comments on the web that "reveal a deep prejudice against" Elisa Baker.

The motion also says that "The community believes Elisa Baker deserves the

same treatment and fate as Zahra," who was killed and dismembered – her

body found in different areas of the county."

 

 

HICKORY RECORD

 

"He refers to reports in the news media, including the Record, as evidence of

widespread prejudice against Elisa Baker. The Record “has published at least

134 articles about the case,” the motion states. “The Hickory Daily Record has

generated or made available an online commentary where citizens can voice

their opinions … These comments reveal a deep prejudice against the defendant

and a firm conviction of her guilt. Editorials … state that Elisa Baker is reviled by

many area residents.”

 

Television stations “have saturated the area” with coverage of the case, according

to the motion. The Record’s news partner, WSOC TV in Charlotte, has televised

more than 862 reports, Reilly says. He also points to publicity in the national media,

specifically “The Nancy Grace Show.” “Nancy Grace has wondered aloud on her show,

 ‘what hell that stepmother put that little girl through, only God in heaven knows,’” the

motion states. The Internet is another source of bias, Reilly claims. He says a Google

search for Elisa Baker results in more than 9.5 million results, and information comments

on the Internet are inflammatory.

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#80 [url]

Jul 22 11 3:26 PM

2011 - July 14 - Court Hearing

HICKORY DAILY RECORD

Trial Preparations Begin

"District Attorney Jay Gaither told Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid that he

intends to try Baker on murder charges after her additional felony cases are concluded.
After the hearing, Gaither said that Baker committed her other crimes before she killed
Zahra and she’ll be tried for them first. He did not address the fact that, according to state sentencing guidelines, Baker will do more prison time for a murder conviction if she already
has prior felony convictions."

Photos & much more at link

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD


"udge Timothy Kincaid said on Thursday that he would set aside August 1 to hear
the motion to move the trial. He also set down September 12 for Baker's arraignment,
when her lawyer will enter a plea in the case.

Gaither also told the court Michael Van Buren would replace Eric Bellas as the lead
prosecutor in the case."

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