Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:51:11 GMT
A dog that was rescued from euthanization two weeks was shot and killed Sunday afternoon by a Sheriff's Deputy after the dog attacked three people, including its owner and the officer. It wasn't the firstMore >>
A dog that was rescued from euthanization two weeks was shot and killed Sunday afternoon by a Sheriff's Deputy after the dog attacked three people, including its owner and the officer.More >>
Baker's remains were found scattered in two locations in Caldwell County and her body had been dismembered.
Last week, 121 pages of warrants were released that show horrifying information in the case, including that Zahra's bones, blood and bodily liquids could be found in the drains of the Baker home. Read the warrants: Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 (NOTE: Large pdf files)
There have been recent reports which indicated that Gaither's office had struck a deal with Elisa Baker that would take first-degree murder and the death penalty off the table if Elisa were to be charged in Zahra's death.
On Tuesday, Gaither said this was not true and he released the following statement:
Recent news reports incorrectly stated that the prosecutor has removed first degree and capital first degree murder as possible charges against Elisa Baker in connection with the death of Zahra Baker. Elisa Baker maintains her innocence in connection with the death of Zahra Baker, and she has cooperated with law enforcement. If the investigation determines that Elisa Baker is not involved in the death of Zahra Baker, she will not be charged. If, on the other hand, there is sufficient and credible evidence to prove that Elisa Baker was involved in the death of Zahra Baker, the State is under no obligation to limit charges.
Gaither, however, has not commented on details about an agreement with Elisa Baker.
"In all cases, we follow the law and the evidence and this is no different from any other case," Gaither said.
Sources say Elisa Baker has denied any involvement in the death of Zahra to authorities.
Gaither said his office is working closely with the Hickory Police Department and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
At some point in the future, Gaither said he and investigators will review the evidence together.
"It could take eight hours, it could take a few days," Gaither said.
It will be after that, he said, that a determination will be made if charges should be filed and who they would be filed against.
"The evidence will determine what happens," Gaither said. "We will follow the evidence and follow the law."
Any agreement with Elisa Baker has not been filed with the Clerk's office in Catawba County and officials there said it did not have to be.
Gaither said if and when charges are filed and the matter goes to court, it is likely the agreement and details contained in it will be revealed in court.
So far, no one has been charged in the death of Zahra Baker.
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