Plea deal for Zahra Baker's dad falls through - | WBTV Charlotte

Plea deal for Zahra Baker's dad falls through

Zahra baker with Santa at her last Christmas. Zahra baker with Santa at her last Christmas.
Adam Baker going to court one day. Adam Baker going to court one day.

HICKORY/LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - The stepmother and father of a slain disabled girl both entered guilty plea deals on Thursday morning for various charges unrelated to the 10-year-old girl's death.

And while Adam Baker's legal issues in Catawba County were settled by the afternoon, his day in court in Caldwell County didn't turn out as he had hoped.

Adam Baker is the father of 10-year-old Zahra Baker who was murdered in 2010. Her stepmother Elisa Baker pleaded guilty to the girl's death.

Baker received a suspended sentence of 45 days in jail plus 18 months of unsupervised probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge in a Catawba County courtroom Thursday morning.

Zahra's admitted killer, Elisa Baker, pleaded guilty to drug charges in a federal courtroom Thursday morning. (Click here for Elisa Baker's plea)

Adam Baker pleaded guilty to reconnecting power without authorization. Both felony charges he was facing were dismissed as part of his plea deal.

He was ordered to pay back $349 in restitution, which Baker paid when he left court on Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon, Adam Baker entered a not guilty plea to two misdemeanor charges of communicating threats and one misdemeanor charge of assault. 

Related article: Zahra Baker's killer, Elisa Baker, agrees to deal in federal court

The charges stem from an incident that happened with Elisa Baker in 2010. Elisa's nephew and niece accused Adam of assaulting them and trying to run them over with his car when he was collecting money from the family members.

The judge dismissed the communicating threats charges after reviewing the evidence, but convicted Adam Baker on the assault charge and sentenced him to 30 days in jail.

Shell Pearce, Adam's attorney, appealed the conviction, sending the case to superior court.

Baker is out on his original bond from the assault charge. A date has not yet been set for a trial on the case of any of the remaining worthless check charges.

Shell said it could be weeks or even longer before the case could be heard again.

Baker and his attorney's had hoped Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would lift the detainer put in place to keep him in the country, but it seems Adam won't be heading back to Australia any time soon.

Zahra's cremated remains are in her father's care and Adam plans to take her back to Australia for a proper burial.

Baker met with prosecutors in Catawba County Court Wednesday afternoon to work out the deal.

The charges had nothing to do with the murder and dismemberment of Zahra Baker. His wife Elisa pled guilty to second degree murder in that case last year, and on that day authorities cleared Adam of any wrongdoing in that.

"We have no credible evidence that links Adam Baker to this crime," officials said.

There are many who don't believe that.

"I still think he had something to do with it, yes," one person said.

Others say if he's not to be charged, let him go home.

"Man needs to take his daughter and bury her," said another. 

Adam has spent a lot of time at the spots where Zahra's remains were recovered, including the memorial on Christie Road in Granite Falls.

Zahra's cremated remains are in her father's care and Adam plans to take her back to Australia once the charges against him are taken care of.

Any sentence she gets in those cases will have to be served before she serves the 14-18 years for killing Zahra.

It means while Adam is looking at freedom, Elisa could be staring at 30 years or more behind bars.

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