Elisa Baker arraigned, Adam Baker leaves town

By Steve Ohnesorge - bio l email

Newton, NC (WBTV) - Elisa Baker was arraigned Tuesday on an indictment for second degree murder in the death of her stepdaughter Zahra.

Baker was scheduled to be in court for the matter on Friday but officials in the Clerk of Courts Office moved up the matter for procedural reasons.

Related: Full Coverage of Zahra Baker case  (Including autopsy report and exclusive interview with Adam Baker)

In most arraignments, the Clerk in Catawba County handles them in an informal session on Fridays without a judge present.

Officials told WBTV news on Wednesday that they felt this case should be taken before a judge.

During the Tuesday arraignment, Judge Robert Ervin told Elisa Baker what the charges mean and possible penalties. He also appointed attorney Scott Reilly to handle the case. Reilly has already been handling Baker's other legal issues. Baker is scheduled to return to court April 4.

Meanwhile, Adam Baker, who has not been charged in the Zahra case, left town overnight. Sources told WBTV news Adam and his mother have gone out of state temporarily because they were being harassed.

A number of people have expressed feelings that they thought Adam should have been charged along with Elisa in the death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

District Attorney James C. Gaither announced Monday that there was "no credible evidence" to charge anyone other than Elisa Baker. Police were informed of Adam Baker's travel plans.

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