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Posted: Thursday, Jan. 05, 2012

Adam Baker sentenced to 30 days in jail, plans appeal

By April Bethea
Published in: Zahra Baker

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Adam Baker, whose 10-year-old daughter was murdered in 2010, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty today in Caldwell County of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

Baker's attorney filed noticed of an appeal, and Baker was allowed to leave the courtroom on his own recognizance, according to WBTV.

The jail sentence follows a long day that saw Baker dealing with charges in two counties.

Earlier today in Catawba County, Baker pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in connection with using a relative's identity to illegal get electricity for his home in Hickory. Baker received a suspended sentence of 45 days and 18 months of unsupervised probation. He also was ordered to pay $329 in restitution.

Baker originally faced two felony charges related to the case. But District Attorney Jay Gaither said his office agreed to the lesser offense because Baker, who has no criminal history, likely would have received probation if found guilty on the felony charge.

In Caldwell, Baker had faced nine misdemeanor charges.

Baker's daughter, Zahra, was reported missing in October 2010, triggering a massive search. But the girl’s dismembered body was found scattered across rural Caldwell County.

Adam Baker’s wife pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Zahra’s death. Elisa Baker was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison in connection with her stepdaughter’s death.

Adam Baker has not been charged in his daughter's death, and police say they have no credible evidence that he was involved in the cover-up.

Elisa Baker, 43, also was in court today on federal drug charges. She pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

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