Elisa Baker, stepmother of Zahra, pleads guilty to drug trafficking charges

Charlotte ObserverJanuary 5, 2012 

Elisa Baker, who pleaded guilty last fall to murdering her stepdaughter, pleaded guilty in federal court today of conspiring to distribute painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

Baker, 43, cut a deal with prosecutors on the drug trafficking charges.

She was asked by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler, "are you guilty of this crime?

"Yes," Elisa Baker replied.

Baker was originally charged with seven felony drug charges. As part of the plea deal, she agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to distribute a mixture that contained painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone, and the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam.

In return, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other six drug charges.

The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Baker's crime involved about 12,000 doses of oxycodone, about 10,000 doses of hydrocodone and about 29,000 doses of alprazolam, according to the plea agreement filed last month.

Baker was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison in September after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Zahra's death. She also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, bigamy, four counts of obtaining property through false pretenses and two counts of identity theft.

Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com

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