- Special Sections
The woman rumored to be involved in the death and dismemberment of her stepdaughter received two more criminal charges this week, bringing her bond amount to more than $100,000.
Elisa Baker, Zahra Baker's stepmother, was served an indictment for bigamy Friday from her cell in Catawba County jail. Catawba County sheriff's deputies also charged Elisa Baker with another worthless check charge, according to the sheriff's office website, which brings the total number of worthless check charges against Elisa Baker to six.
Elisa Baker's bonds for the bigamy and worthless check charges were set at $10,000 and $500, respectively. Her bond, with all outstanding charges included, is now $107,700.
Elisa Baker was indicted Tuesday on a bigamy charge, which alleges she married Adam Baker while still married to another man, Aaron Jesse Young.
Elisa Baker has been in jail since Oct. 10, the day after Zahra was reported missing. Police arrested Elisa Baker on charges unrelated to the child's disappearance. Following the discovery of a phony ransom note on the former Baker rental property, police charged Elisa Baker with obstruction of justice. Elisa Baker, like Adam Baker, faces outstanding worthless check charges. She also is charged with moving violations, communicating threats and larceny by employee in various counties throughout western North Carolina.
Adam Baker was scheduled to appear in court Friday on worthless check charges that are unrelated to the investigation into his daughter's death.
Adam Baker's attorney, Mark Killian, requested a continuance, however, and the continuance was granted, according to 25th prosecutorial District Attorney Jay Gaither. Adam Baker is set to appear in court April 29 on the worthless check charges, which include four bad checks 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.
Although Elisa Baker's bigamy charge isn't directly related to Zahra's death, it could come into play if the case comes to trial.
A bigamy conviction nullifies Elisa Baker's marriage to Adam Baker.
According to North Carolina's marital privilege law, confidential communication between spouses is privileged information and neither spouse can be compelled to disclose that communication when testifying as a witness.
But if the marriage is null and void, marital privilege doesn't apply.
If convicted of bigamy, Elisa Baker could face up to a year in prison.
Elisa Baker allegedly told Adam Baker that Young was her brother, not her husband. According to search warrants in the investigation, Elisa Baker was in contact with Young through telephone and in person on a regular basis.
The warrants also maintain that Adam and Elisa Baker, as well as Young, participated in a chainsaw massacre role-playing game in September on the website Instant Messaging Virtual Universe. The site allows users to create 3-D avatars and interact with other users.
To comment on this story, visit www.observernewsonline.com.