Adam Baker seeks return to Australia

The father of slain Zahra Baker says he wants to return home to Australia, but his attorney says Adam Baker must clear up a few legal matters before he can leave the United States.

And that might not be until June, at the earliest.

Adam Baker was in court Monday in Caldwell County, for a hearing on several misdemeanor charges he is facing. That case was continued until June, and since Baker surrendered his passport until the issues are settled, he cannot leave for his native country.

Baker's daughter Zahra disappeared from the family home in Hickory last September, and authorities found remains several weeks later that they say were those of Zahra. Alisa Baker, Adam Baker's wife and Zahra's stepmother, was charged with second-degree murder in the case.

Adam Baker was charged in Caldwell County with five counts of writing worthless checks, two counts of communicating threats, and one count of failure to return rental property.

Shell Pearce, Adam Baker's attorney, told NewsChannel 36, the Observer's news partner, that his client is ready to leave the United States.

"As soon as all these matters are resolved and he has permission, he'll be heading home to Australia," Pearce told WCNC.

Pearce told NewsChannel 36 that Baker already has made restitution on the worthless checks and will go to trial, if necessary, on the other charges. Pearce said he believes his client would not face jail time.

Adam Baker has said he had no part in his daughter's death. He married Alisa Baker in Australia, and they moved, with Zahra, to North Carolina several years ago. The family lived in Caldwell County for a time until moving last year to Hickory.

WCNC-TV contributed.