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Elisa pleads 'not guilty' to federal drug charges

June 2, 2011

A North Carolina woman charged with killing her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter has pleaded not guilty to unrelated drug charges in federal court.

U.S. Magistrate David Kessler on Thursday ordered that 42-year-old Elisa Baker be held without bond. No trial date has been set.

Prosecutors say Baker distributed and planned to distribute drugs including oxycodone and hydrocodone between 2006 and 2010. They also say she conspired with others to distribute drugs.

Baker faces seven counts. Conviction on all the charges could bring a prison sentence of up to 140 years.

She is charged in Catawba County with second-degree murder in the death of Zahra Baker, the Australian girl who had a prosthetic leg because of her fight with bone cancer. Authorities say Baker dismembered the body to cover up her killing.

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