The father of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, whose disappearance and death captured hearts worldwide, made his first court appearance this morning on felony charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. He faces up to 30 months in prison if found guilty.
Immigration officials have also placed a detainer on Baker, meaning even if he posts the $10,000 bond, he will remain in custody. Baker has been living in the United States illegally, according to Catawba County jail officials.
Adam Baker stood silently in a green jail uniform as the judge read the charges. Hickory Attorney Mark Killian was appointed as his defense lawyer.
Zahra Baker, a cancer survivor who lost part of her leg, gained international attention after she disappeared last October and her body turned up dismembered. The girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, 42, has been charged with second-degree murder. She has denied wrongdoing and accuses her husband of dismembering his daughter's body after she discovered Zahra dead from an illness.
Adam Baker has denied any involvement in the death and has not been charged. His attorney told reporters this week that Baker seeks to return to his native Australia once he settles his legal issues.
To read the complete article, visit www.charlotteobserver.com.