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Adam Baker appears in court

November 19, 2010

"Child murderer."
It was the accusation Adam Baker heard several times from bystanders Friday as he left the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton.
Baker appeared in District Court on worthless check charges, which are unrelated to the murder of his daughter, Zahra Baker.
But that didn't stop several bystanders from shouting accusations of murder and wrongdoing at Baker and his mother, Karen Baker, who attended the courtroom session with her son.
Adam reported Zahra missing Oct. 9, starting his phone call with the 9-1-1 operator by saying, "Hey, how are you doing?"
Since Zahra was reported missing, rumors have circulated about Baker and his wife Elisa's involvement in Zahra's disappearance and death. Elisa allegedly wrote from jail that Baker did something "kinda horrifying" to Zahra's body after her death.
Police confirmed the child's death Nov. 12 after matching DNA, believed to be Zahra's, with a bone found off Christie Road in Caldwell County.
Baker and his mother walked into the Justice Center on Friday shortly before the 9 a.m. session of District Court was scheduled to start. Neither Baker nor his mother commented to the media about Zahra's disappearance and murder. When asked if he killed his daughter, Baker stared straight ahead and refused to speak.
Baker is charged with four worthless check charges. According to court documents, Baker allegedly wrote four worthless checks during a period of one week in May 2009.
The checks were all written to Lowes Foods on U.S. 321 in Hickory. Baker allegedly wrote two bad checks May 10, 2009 worth $84.88 and $39.50. The next day, Baker allegedly wrote another bad check worth $41.52. On May 16, 2009, he allegedly wrote a fourth bad check valued at $72.20.
These amounts include the cost of the merchandise, as well as processing and bank fees, according to the Catawba County Clerk of Court's Office.
District Court Judge Robert. A Mullinax Jr. appointed Mark Killian, a Hickory-based attorney, to represent Baker on the worthless check charges. Baker was required to fill out an affidavit at the Catawba County Clerk of Court's Office to certify he can't afford to hire a lawyer. According to the affidavit of indigency Baker filled out, he has no monthly income. He listed no money coming in from employment, welfare, Social Security or his spouse's employment.
Baker has $80 in total assets and liabilities, and he didn't list any other personal assets on the affidavit, which can include vehicles and real estate.
Baker listed his current address as an apartment in Hudson.
Killian represents Baker on additional outstanding charges in Catawba County, and Mullinax appointed Killian on Friday to represent Baker on the worthless check charges, at Adam's request. Baker's case was continued to Jan. 21.
This is the second time Mullinax presided over a case involving the Baker family. Elisa's attorney, Scott Reilly, appeared before Mullinax in October and requested a reduction on Elisa's bond. Mullinax declined to reduce the bond amount, instead increasing it by $25,000.
Elisa requested Monday another bond reduction hearing. The motion for her hearing claimed Elisa assisted investigators in the recovery of Zahra's body, which was dismembered and scattered throughout different locations.
A bond hearing has not been set, but should be scheduled after the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Baker was scheduled to appear in Caldwell County court Thursday, but Baker's lawyer appeared in his place.
Baker and his mother left the courtroom immediately after his case's continuance. They again declined to comment about the investigation as they walked through the parking lot. Baker got into the driver's seat of a silver Chrysler P.T. Cruiser with his mother, and the two drove away.

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