Zahra Baker Case: Stepmother Elisa Baker Reportedly Cuts a Deal

VIDEO: Zahra Bakers Stepmother Will Not Face the Death Penalty
Share
Copy

Zahra Baker's stepmother has reportedly made a deal with prosecutors that would allow her to avoid a first degree murder charge -- and a potential sentence of death or life in prison -- to help with the investigation of the girl's death.

Sources told ABC affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., that Elisa Baker signed an agreement with prosecutors that would take first degree murder charges off the table in the death of the 10-year-old disabled girl whose dismembered body was found in November after a month-long search.

Neither Elisa Baker's attorneys nor prosecutors would confirm the deal, but warrants in the case released Tuesday detail the cooperation she has provided police in the case.

According to the documents released Tuesday night, Zahra's stepmother Elisa Baker told North Carolina police through her lawyer that after the girl's death, Zahra was dismembered, her body parts placed in trash bags and then rolled into a comforter and car cover. Baker also directed police where to look for the body parts.

In the warrant, an investigator said that "persons involved in homicides may conceal the body and /or body parts and those parts of Zahra Baker may be located" near a residence in Hickory, N.C.

Blood, bodily fluids and pieces of bone could be found in the drain of a bathtub, Elisa Baker said, the document stated.

The stepmother directed police to a dumpster where she and husband Adam Baker, the little girl's father, dumped Zahra's mattress, the warrant said. A car cover and comforter used to "conceal and transport the body parts" was also stashed in the dumpster.

Investigators eventually found Zahra's prosthetic leg wrapped in a white trash bag and tossed in a separate dumpster. A piece of bone and additional body parts were found at two additional locations.

Zahra had lost her leg along with most of her hearing while battling with bone cancer.

Though the warrant offers new information in how Zahra's body was dumped, it does not shed any light on how or why the child died.

In a jailhouse letter obtained by ABC News last month, Elisa Baker wrote, "We really didn't kill her, but what he [Adam Baker] did after the fact is kinda horrifying."

A second warrant revealed that police investigated a secondhand tip that Zahra had been raped by two men before her death before the men hit her on the head. Hickory police would not comment on the warrants except to say the investigation is ongoing.

Elisa Baker is currently in jail on one charge of felony obstruction of justice after allegedly admitting she penned a $1 million ransom note which was discovered Oct. 9, the day Zahra went missing from her Hickory, N.C., home.

Adam Baker was held in prison on unrelated charges, but is free on bond.

Though Elisa Baker's attorney would not comment on whether her client had a deal in place, she said there has been no admission of guilt.

"It is not part of this cooperation that Elisa Baker has admitted any guilt as far as murder goes," Elisa Dubs, Baker's lawyer, told WSOC-TV Friday.

Dubs was pulled off the case this week by the state Capital Defenders Office because Baker has not been charged, but she said she has continued as her attorney for free because the woman continues to assist with the investigation.

"Her continued cooperation is ongoing and I think ethically and morally I have to continue to assist her in that cooperation," Dubs said.

Catawba County District Attorney Jay Gaither also told the TV station he could not comment on whether there was a deal but acknowledged that Baker has been providing information.

"Elisa Baker and counsel have cooperated with law enforcement and they're moving forward with the investigation," Gaither said.

ABC News' Yunji de Nies contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...