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Zahra's stepmom held on drug charges

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By MITCH WEISS
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina woman accused in the death of her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter has made her first appearance in federal court on charges of trafficking prescription medications.

US Magistrate David Keesler in Charlotte on Thursday ordered that 43-year-old Elisa Baker be held until a detention hearing on June 2.

Federal prosecutors say Baker distributed and planned to distribute drugs including oxycodone and hydrocodone between 2006 and last October. She also is accused of conspiring with others to distribute the drugs.

Baker faces seven counts. The punishment for all the charges could bring a prison sentence of up to 140 years.

Baker also is charged in state court with second-degree murder in the death of Zahra Baker. Authorities say Elisa Baker dismembered the girl's body to cover up the slaying.

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

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