Archive - News Article
September 16th, 2011
Throughout the past 11 months, the Zahra Baker case has wore on many Catawba County citizens emotionally â€“ even the areaâ€™s district attorney.
N.C. District 25 Attorney Jay Gaither said while he, his office and area law enforcement were forced to put emotions aside during the case, he said certain details of the event definitely touched everyone.
â€śEmotions come on me quickly and come on me strong,â€ť Gaither said.
â€śThere were a couple of occasions specifically where it was hard to not get emotionally involved.â€ť
Elisa Baker will serve 15-18 years in prison for the murder of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
While Thursdayâ€™s sentencing ended a nearly year-long criminal follow-up to Zahraâ€™s disappearance and death, law enforcement officials said that many questions surrounding the mystery of her death remain.
Almost a year after Zahra Baker was reported missing from her Hickory home, the world finally got an explanation behind what happened to the 10-year-old Australian girl who won two battles against cancer.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaidâ€™s sentence was loud and clear on Thursday â€“ Elisa Baker will serve at least 15 years in state prison. What is less lucid is if her sentence is just.
Elisaâ€™s family members are â€śtorn,â€ť the public thinks â€śno,â€ť and Zahra Bakerâ€™s biological mother seems content with the ruling, but offered no public comment.
Elisa Baker has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Zahra Baker.â€¨As part of the agreement, she has been sentenced to 177 months up to 222 months in prison.â€¨The hearing continues as law enforcement offer descriptions of the investigation and the search for Zahra Baker. Among details they provided include Elisa Bakerâ€™s statement that Zahra died on Sept. 24, shortly after she was fed. Elisa said she found the child unresponsive inside their Hickory home, and attempted CPR for 20 minutes.
Throughout the Zahra Baker case, the phrase â€ścrime of the centuryâ€ť has been tossed around by citizens and attorneys alike. Regardless of whether the mysterious slaying of the 10-year-old cancer survivor is the most notable crime in county history, one thing is fairly certain â€“ it has been the most watched, read or listened to.
Since the time Zahra mysteriously disappeared on Oct. 9, television, radio and newspaper media have reported non-stop on the case that has been called â€śoverwhelmingâ€ť by the defense attorney and judge involved in the case.
An 11-month mystery started when 10-year-old Zahra Baker was reported missing on Oct. 12, 2010.
Since then, the story of her life, her disappearance and her death have captivated local and national communities. Along the way there have been an array of police investigations and a collection of criminal charges, press conferences, courtroom proceedings, and a few embarrassing gaffes.
The ordeal ongoing nearly a year is expected to end today.
With all signs pointing to the end of the Elisa Baker murder case being today, law enforcement officials are preparing for a crowd at the courthouse.
â€śThis is a high-profile case, and we anticipate more people being there,â€ť said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid. â€śWe will have extra security inside and outside the courtrooms and will have an extra metal detector set up as well.â€ť
Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) is making some big changes and they now have the countyâ€™s support.
Catawba County Commissioners approved a resolution on Monday authorizing the creation of Catawba Valley Medical Group Inc., a new non-profit corporation that will organize CVMCâ€™s primary care and cardiology practices under a new, separate entity.
CVMC officials say the hospitalâ€™s physician practices can serve the community better and save more money as a separate entity.
A longtime Newton dojo is kicking its way into a new facility.
â€¨Newton Martial Arts, which is celebrating its 20th year in Newton in 2011, is planning to open a new facility in one of the Alman Furniture Co. buildings near downtown Newton. NMAâ€™s current facility at 23 E. A St. will remain open, but Soke Paul Langford said the addition will provide some much-needed breathing space for the group.