Drug case delayed for Elisa Baker

A federal judge has agreed to delay the drug trafficking case against Elisa Baker, a Hickory resident who has also been charged with the second-degree murder of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra.

A new hearing date has been scheduled for Nov. 7 in Statesville on federal charges that include possession and distribution of prescription drugs.

The indictment says Baker distributed a mixture that contained painkillers and an anti-anxiety drug from at least May 2006 to October 2010. Federal prosecutors allege Baker distributed the drugs from her homes in Granite Falls, Hudson and Hickory, where she lived with her husband, Adam, and Zahra.

The drug indictment brings the first federal charges against Elisa Baker, who also faces more than 20 additional charges - including bad checks and communicating threats - unrelated to Zahra's death. If convicted on the drug charges, Baker could face up to 20 years in prison for each separate charge. Second-degree murder is punishable by between eight and 30 years.