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Elisa Baker pleads guilty to drug charge

By Gary L. Wright
gwright@charlotteobserver.com

Elisa Baker, who pleaded guilty last fall to murdering her stepdaughter, pleaded guilty in federal court today of conspiring to distribute painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

Baker, 43, cut a deal with prosecutors on the drug trafficking charges.

She was asked by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler, "are you guilty of this crime?

"Yes," Elisa Baker replied.

Baker was originally charged with seven felony drug charges. As part of the plea deal, she agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to distribute a mixture that contained painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone, and the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam.

In return, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other six drug charges.

The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Baker's crime involved about 12,000 doses of oxycodone, about 10,000 doses of hydrocodone and about 29,000 doses of alprazolam, according to the plea agreement filed last month.

Baker was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison in September after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Zahra's death. She also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, bigamy, four counts of obtaining property through false pretenses and two counts of identity theft.

Adam Baker in court today, too

Meanwhile, the Hickory Daily Record reports that Adam Baker pleaded guilty this morning to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized reconnection of electricity. He received a suspended jail sentence of 45 days, 18 months of unsupervised probation and ordered to repay $349, according to the newspaper.

Prosecutors say he used a family member's name at his Hickory home to get the electricity from Duke Energy in August of 2010.

Adam Baker also faces charges in Caldwell County, and is expected to resolve those cases today, too. Staff writer April Bethea contributed.

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