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Associated Press.

NEWTON, NC (AP) — A North Carolina woman has been sentenced to up to 18 years in prison for the murder of her disabled 10-year-old stepdaughter.

Elisa Baker pleaded guilty Thursday to second degree murder, nearly a year after the Australian girl was reported missing from her home in the western North Carolina town of Hickory.

After hours of sometimes emotional witness testimony following her plea, Baker was sentenced to between roughly 15 and 18 years.

Parts of Zahra Baker’s remains were found in multiple sites around Hickory shortly after her reported disappearance. The case captivated the attention of communities here and in Australia. Her father moved to the United States to marry Elisa after the two met online.

Zahra had a prosthetic leg and hearing aids after a battle with bone cancer.

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

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    you’re optomistic if you think she will serve 18 years.

    Let’s see, she’ll find God; be a role model for imates; and be on good behaviour. She’ll get time off.

    But, while she is serving, she’ll probably pursue higher education, at the taxpayer’s expense; begin writing a tell all book; and begin planning a reality tv show.

    Justice was not served in this case.

    I remember they were looking at a change of venue due to publicity. They probably could not find a location where this case had not been well covered by the media.

    Too bad they could not try her in Afghanistan and then stoned her when the guilty verdict came in.

  • Guest Lee

    This case has made me sick from day one. So in about 18 years, Elisa Baker will get out of jail and live among us again. I shudder to think who will be next…and there will be someone. This woman has no conscience, and she will not grow a new one over the next 18 years. She should be in jail the rest of her pathetic life. She would STILL be way ahead of this 10 year old little girl.

  • guesty

    Just kill her and be done with that piece of trash.

  • Jer

    I’d rather see her couped up in a tiny cell with no windows, TV, or outside contact with the rest of the world for the rest of her miserable life. Death is too easy. She needs to suffer for what she did for a long, long time.

  • Tracie C

    A guilty plea means what? A slap on the wrist? Lunch with Casey Anthony? And 2ND DEGREE MURDER? She chopped this poor child up! What the hell has happened to the justice system in this country? “In the death of”???? SHE WAS MURDERED heartlessly. What I don’t understand is: this is 2011, crime scene investigation has more tools now than ever. Isn’t the cold blooded murder of a 10 year old important enough to use ALL these tools? Probably not. Not in this country too full of bleeding hearts who can’t just call a spade a spade…even with the burden of proof. This woman makes me sick. But she’ll be out of jail and selling her story to Springer before you know it.

  • Guest461

    …womens prison can be more brutal than a male facility. There’s women in there that make King Kong look like a zoo monkey. Women prisoners hate child-murderers even more than men do and I’d say she looks like some pretty easy bait for the big-fingered girls.

    I give her the same fate that Jeffery Dahmer had.


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