Ex-defense team in Zahra's death took evidence

By MITCH WEISS and TOM BREEN
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- The former defense team for a North Carolina woman accused of killing her disabled 10-year-old stepdaughter took key evidence from a crime scene early on in the case.

Private investigator Steve Ehlers says he wanted to verify that 42-year-old Elisa Baker was telling the truth about the death of Zahra Baker.

Elisa Baker was indicted this week on a charge of second-degree murder. Ehlers would not identify the evidence he took, or say what happened to it.

Ehlers works with Hickory attorney Lisa Dubs, who was representing Elisa Baker until this week.

Jeff Welty, criminal justice chairman for the North Carolina Bar Association, says there is a debate on when it's proper for lawyers to take possession of evidence.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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