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DA to fight bond reduction request

November 17, 2010

Elisa Baker's bond will not be reduced, if the District Attorney's Office has its way.
District Attorney Jay Gaither said Tuesday his office will fight Elisa Baker's request for a lower bond.
"As this point, we plan on arguing that the bond will not be reduced," Gaither said.
Elisa Baker filed a motion Monday to reduce her bond on a felony obstruction of justice charge.
According to the motion, Elisa Baker disclosed details to police about the disappearance and death of her stepdaughter, Zahra Baker. The document outlines several instances when Elisa Baker gave information to police, including the grisly revelation that the child was dismembered and her remains spread in various locations.
Hickory Police declined comment about the court document.
The hearing, however, could be pushed back more than one week in light of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Gaither said court isn't in session the week prior to Thanksgiving, and the earliest possible time the hearing could be scheduled is Nov. 29. The defense is responsible for scheduling the hearing, so the District Attorney's Office isn't currently aware when the hearing will be.
According to the motion for bond reduction, Elisa Baker allegedly provided police with details on Oct. 22 and 23 which helped police recover a "significant item of evidence."
Elisa Baker's attorneys, Scott Reilly and Lisa Dubs, were allegedly contacted Oct. 24 by the District Attorney, and Elisa Baker started working with an investigator involved with Zahra's murder case.
"Law enforcement was informed that Zahra Baker was deceased, that her body had been dismembered and that it would be recovered at different sites," the document says.
The document also details how Elisa Baker led police to other evidentiary discoveries in the search for Zahra, including a gel liner from the child's prosthetic leg and a bone matching Zahra's DNA. Both items were recovered on Christie Road in Caldwell County.
The court document, however, leaves out a critical piece of information. The motion doesn't mention how Zahra died and under what circumstances her body was transported to different locations in Caldwell County.
This isn't the first time Elisa Baker has requested a lower bond. Reilly filed a bond reduction motion Oct. 13, calling Elisa Baker's bond excessive for the charge.
District Court Judge Robert A. Mullinax Jr. denied the request Oct. 20, and instead, increased Elisa Baker's bond $25,000. Mullinax said her prior failure-to-appear charges made Elisa Baker a flight risk.
Elisa Baker's motion for a bond hearing, however, says she isn't a flight risk. The document argues that international media attention made Elisa Baker easily recognizable and unable to avoid detection from the public.
She remains in Catawba County jail under a $97,200 bond.

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