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Judge grants change of venue in stepmom's trial

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HICKORY, NC (AP) -- A judge has granted a change of venue for the trial of a North Carolina woman charged in the death of her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid on Monday set Sept. 12 as the date when he will rule on where the trial of 43-year-old Elisa Baker will be held.

Baker is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Zahra Baker, the freckle-faced Australian girl who had a prosthetic leg and hearing aids because of her fight with bone cancer. Authorities say Baker dismembered the girl's body to cover up her killing. She could face up to 30 years in prison if she's convicted.

Baker's attorney, Scott Reilly, argued that pretrial publicity has made it difficult to seat an impartial jury. Prosecutor Jay Gaither disagreed.

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

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