By TOM BREEN and MITCH WEISS
RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The stepmother of Zahra Baker has been charged with murder in the little girl’s death, but securing a conviction won’t be easy.
Elisa Baker was indicted this week on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of the disabled girl from Australia.
Important pieces of evidence are missing in the case, most notably the 10-year-old girl’s skull. Medical examiners didn’t have enough of her remains to determine an exact cause of death.
Nationally known criminal defense lawyer Richard Jaffe says that creates a significant hurdle for prosecutors and provides more opportunities to create reasonable doubt as to a defendant’s guilty.
Jaffe is not involved in the Baker case. Calls to Elisa Baker’s lawyer were not immediately returned Friday. Elisa Baker remains in jail. Her bail was set at $300,000.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)