Baker pleas expected Thursday

Adam Baker’s attorney says his client could be home in Australia as early as next week.

Baker, the father of the 10-year-old, Zahra, who was brutally murdered in 2010, will most likely consent to a plea deal Thursday for charges against him in Catawba and Caldwell counties.

Baker is charged in Catawba County with identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. He’s also charged in Caldwell County with failure to return rental property, communicating threats, communicating threats/assault with a deadly weapon and five counts of simple worthless check charges.
All of his charges are unrelated to his daughter’s death.

“We’re hoping to take care of the cases in Catawba and then go to Lenoir and take care of those,” Baker’s attorney Mark Killian said Wednesday. “We hope he gets to return to his homeland.”

Adam Baker is the former husband of Elisa Baker, who was sentenced in September 2011 to 15-18 years for murdering Zahra in 2010.

In 2011, investigators and prosecutors determined “there is no evidence to suggest (Adam) was involved” in Zahra’s death.

The North Carolina Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill released Zahra's remains last month to a Hickory funeral home, where they were cremated and given to Adam Baker.

Baker says he wants to return to Australia and give Zahra a proper service and burial there, but he cannot leave the country until his charges are resolved.

“The plan is to take Zahra back home,” Killian told press members Wednesday.

Killian said the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office will determine when Baker can return to Australia.

Elisa pleading, too?

According to reports, Elisa Baker is expected to appear in U.S. District Court Thursday on federal drug charges.

According to court papers filed last month, she has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to distribute a mixture that contained painkillers oxycodone and hyrdocodone, and the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam. The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Elisa Baker was originally indicted on seven federal drug charges, but a reported plea agreement calls for prosecutors to dismiss six of the charges.