This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
  • Dark_Horse Sep 16, 2011

    Wait: So the DA agreed to a plea deal where there was no allecution explaining why and how she did what she did? And if she was dead two weeks before she was reported missing, how could her father NOT know what had happened?

  • airbornemonty Sep 16, 2011

    Someone posted that they can't see how the judge can sleep at night after sentencing the stepmother to just 18 years.

    I can assure you that the judge and the prosecuters as well, will sleep soundly tonight. After all, they are politicians and politicians are a breed apart from the rest of us.

    When a politician is running for office you can call his mother the most contemptible name you can think of while shaking his hand and he will smile at you and thank you for your vote. Check it out if you don't believe me.

  • familyfour Sep 16, 2011

    Never in a million years could I go two weeks without laying eyes on my child.....and I'd be all up in it all. And, had I been in his shoes, I'd be on the stand for murdering whom abused my child.....not sitting back there crying and pouting. No way. And maybe, my child would still be here... there isnt much that goes on in my home i dont know about, simply from a walkthrough.

    No one will ever convince me he didn't know.

    BIG difference in not knowing, and ignoring.

  • Holli0224 Sep 16, 2011

    The father should be charged with 2nd degree murder too, even if he had nothing to do with the murder. He knew about the abuse and did nothing. My theory is that the last time that Elisa was beating Zahra, it went too far and she killed her. She is dead as a result of abuse that the father had FULL knowledge of. Zahra would still be alive if he had a backbone and got that poor child out of that environment. He is JUST as much to blame. I have no sympathy for him whatsoever and he kind of sickens me.

  • solarflare40 Sep 16, 2011

    so she killed, and chopped up an innocent child, and only got 15-18 years in prison???????? Our legal system sucks arsenic!

  • familyfour Sep 16, 2011

    I am having trouble believing he didn't know he had a deceased child in his home. familyfour

    The father had nothing to do with killing his child. It was the step-mother alone. Stop grabbing for nothing and pay attention in what you read and hear.
    wildcat

    I'm not grasping at a thing. Fact: two weeks of death involved before mutilation and disbursement.

    Was he not with his "wife", or child, or in his home for two weeks? Did he not ask to speak to his child if he was not home, or attempt to communicate with her in some way. Really? I'm grasping?

    What is grasping is me trying to wrap my mind around how anyone could think NOT knowing what a child that LIVES under YOUR roof is enduring. Or realizing you haven't seen, hugged, or looked into your child's eyes for two weeks. Sorry wildcat. I am afraid you are the one grasping....at excuses. Are we not responsible for what happens in our home..to our children?

    My goodness. I am going to pick my jaw from the floor

  • Jakethesnake Sep 16, 2011

    That poor girls life was only worth 15 years, no justice at all.

  • Jakethesnake Sep 16, 2011

    What!!!!!! 15 years!!! there are drug dealers doing longer sentences. Baby killer almost gets death penalty, nursing home shooter gets life, and this woman gets off with next to nothing!!! disgusting for the justice system, they should be embarassed to have made such a deal, they should have investigated and charged her with first degree and pushed for death.

  • Fireflies Rock Sep 16, 2011

    if any case ever screamed out for the death penalty - or minimum, life in prison - this is it. This disgrace of a human being should never see the light of day. It disgusts me that she is able to plea down to a 2nd degree murder charge for doing something so heinous and reprehensible. A father that was obviously complicit in some aspect of this crime not being punished is beyond belief. I don't care where his phone was during the crime; where he was is more relevant, and people aren't attached to their phones. That's what we're using for proof of innocence these days? Poor Zahra was obviously dead when the father was lying about her whereabouts on the day he finally called 911. I don't see how common sense can't be used here to charge him with complicity in the murder or coverup. Unbelieveable.

  • scarlett2 Sep 16, 2011

    The father was no innocent in this. He would have seen the signs of abuse for years and he did nothing about it. He could see that it was escalating yet chose to ignore it. He chose that woman over his daughter. He also participated in the kidnapping lie and ransom note scheme.

    The police state his cell phone records show that he was not in the area when her body was scattered. Hogwash. I have calls on my cell phone bill that I never made. The company stated that their records show which towers the calls were made from and that I had to have made those calls. They were made in a county that I have never even been to. My cell phone records are constantly wrong.

    18 years is not a punishment for this heinous crime. She will be out on parole in about 3 years; it will be just a holiday for her, she won't have to work, pay her bills, clean her house, take care of her family. She will have it easy at taxpayer's expense then will be set free to marry again.

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 16, 2011

    "...I am having trouble believing he didn't know he had a deceased child in his home...."
    familyfour

    Exactly, familyfour. If her body was held in that house, even in the attic where she slept when she was alive, there's no way he could have come and gone from that home and not have been knocked out by the odor.

    BTW, I can't quote your entire post, because I get this stupid
    message: "Post is too similar to one of your previous posts; could be a duplicate post."

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Sep 16, 2011

    Dito wildcat, can't add anything else, your comment was spot on.

  • scarlett2 Sep 16, 2011

    18 years for terrorizing, murdering, and dismembering a child? So in other words, you can be the most heinous person on this earth and be out of prison in probably less than 5 years to do whatever again. Her bones showed signs of tool marks from dismemberment. Imagine that scenario, a woman hacking up a dead child. You can't rehabilitate someone who can cross that line, they have no boundaries. The law is for the criminals, not for the innocent. And her father had a hand in this, he is not innocent like he states. He knew what was going on.

  • wildcat Sep 16, 2011

    Just wondering why the bio. mother did not have her in the first place? She may be still alive if she had been with her mother.

  • wildcat Sep 16, 2011

    She is going to see it hard in prison. From the looks on her face in the picure, she is dreading it. The inmates will take care of her. She will face her dire consequences in prison. It will be a night mare.

  • jollyrogered Sep 16, 2011

    goode88- its not the police's fault, they're never the ones that get to choose what crime to charge, what the plea bargain will be etc, believe me they wish they could. That is entirely the prosecutors and judge.

    18 years seems like so little though, you are right. I wonder if thats the maximum for a second degree murder charge, and first degree is nigh impossible to prove.

  • wildcat Sep 16, 2011

    Police during Thursday's hearing described three cases where witnesses saw Elisa beat Zahra. Once the child attended school with two black eyes and was afraid to go home.

    Why did these people including the school not report what was happening to this child? All of you are just as guilty as the step-mother. A disabled child who could not even get help from no one that knew her. How shameful of you to have deserted her in this manner. You saw the bruises and yet said nothing. May you always see her face for the rest of your life. In other words no peace for you.

  • wildcat Sep 16, 2011

    I am having trouble believing he didn't know he had a deceased child in his home.

    The father had nothing to do with killing his child. It was the step-mother alone. Stop grabbing for nothing and pay attention in what you read and hear.

  • wildcat Sep 16, 2011

    WOW! Just a mere 18 years for killing that sweet little girl who had fought cancer and had hearing problem. She also did not have a leg. But she had so much to live for and this STEP-MOTHER out of jealousy killed her. Not just killed her, but dismangle her body and scattered the child's remains all over. I do hope the judge and jury along with the prosecutor can sleep and have a life. They should have given her life in prison with no early release. 18 years for killing and cutting up a body. When killers hear this, will they do that just to get rid of the evidence?

  • familyfour Sep 16, 2011

    "Elisa Baker tried to implicate her husband in Zahra's murder, but investigators said cellphone records showed he was elsewhere on the days when the girl's remains were disposed of."

    Juat prior to that it says she was killed nearly two weeks earlier. Where was he then, and the 14 days following? I am having trouble believing he didn't know he had a deceased child in his home.

    Sickening all the way around.

  • sunflowerbubbles Sep 16, 2011

    Not a harsh or long enough punishment for this little girl!

  • n ter tained Sep 16, 2011

    I agree with goode88...in the words of my kids, this was an "Epic Fail" on all sides. :(

    twc, sadly, you are probably right.

    I am still pretty much in awe of how little value a human life holds.

  • goode88 Sep 16, 2011

    This is a complete failure on the part of everyone involved from day one. The judge, the police department, prosecutors and social services should be charged with neglect and stupidity for letting someone like this the chance to go free in a very short time.

  • twc Sep 16, 2011

    I hope her fellow inmates will remember how the little girl must have begged for mercy when she was being abused. Should the time come that this evil woman begs for mercy let it be remembered that she showed no mercy!

  • twc Sep 16, 2011

    "Kinda makes you wonder what that guy and his wife are going to get for cutting up his babies' mamma after they killed her. I imagine that if they confess, they'll be on the streets in 18 years, too, huh?
    Lily0809"

    You think they'll get that much time? He'll get the death penalty, but since he is Black, he'll get a new trial and be out in 10-12 years. She'll get probation after she witnesses for the prosecution and tells how she was forced into it.

  • twc Sep 16, 2011

    There are women in prison who read these cases and I'm sure some of them are as outraged over the abuse, mistreatment and murder of a helpless, one-legged child who was at the mercy of this evil person.

    The road to justice is not always straight and narrow.

  • n ter tained Sep 16, 2011

    Kinda makes you wonder what that guy and his wife are going to get for cutting up his babies' mamma after they killed her. I imagine that if they confess, they'll be on the streets in 18 years, too, huh?

  • dkjeffers Sep 16, 2011

    Not long enough!!!!!!!

  • ncguy Sep 16, 2011

    Disgraceful!

    SHe cut up a human being!!! and that's what you get?

  • ugomama03 Sep 16, 2011

    where is the justice in this? this woman killed an innocent girl and all she gets is 18 years!! she lied about everything. she knew all along what happen to this child. she should have been given life. oh, but she plead guilty so she would not get life....what are the courts coming to?

  • twc Sep 16, 2011

    There are many more children in very bad situations. They are the children that everyone screams about when the government tries to offer programs to help them rise out of the situations they are in.

    I wonder how many times Zahra didn't even get to eat or stay clean or otherwise have a decent day. Her evil stepmother is getting off far too easy! How could a father allow his child to suffer like he did. Whether he knew about the killing or not, surely he was aware of the conditions and mistreatment.

  • bburrows1 Sep 16, 2011

    What is this country coming to? Casey Anthony innocent, this woman get's 18 years for a list of felonies a mile long-a henious crime like killing a child....this should be overthrown and she should be put to death....GOD HELP AMERICA-THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH IT NOW-A PLEA BARGAIN THAT ALLOWS HER TO WALK FREE AGAIN BEFORE SHE DIES....DISGUSTING!!!|

  • twc Sep 16, 2011

    I wonder how many times she told the child she would kill her while she was beating her. The actual murder was just the climax of the abuse.

    How can you beat and stomp a child that has only one leg? Why isn't she also being charged with felony assault on a handicapped child?

    The way it stands now with time served she could probably be out in a couple years on parole. And being on parole will give her opportunities that some struggling families will never be entitled to.

  • rcrdngcountry Sep 16, 2011

    oh, why did this poor woman get so much time. all she did was
    MURDER HER STEPDAUGHTER AND CUT HER BODY UP AND THREW IT AWAY.
    she should have already excuted by now. she said she was guilty,
    boy what an unfair justice system we have. no one involved in this trial cared for this already very sick little girl.NO ONE
    WAS THERE TO SPEAK FOR HER. WHAT A SHAME.

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Sep 16, 2011

    15-18 YEARS!!!!?????!!!!??? That is all a little girls life is worth?? If it was the judges child, there woulda been a different outcome. This makes me sick! Sick sick sick!

  • Lead by Example Sep 16, 2011

    "I cannot BELIEVE she only got 18 years."

    North Carolina could fix that problem if Second Degree Murder went from a B2 felony to a B1 felony, whereas people would get much more prison time.

    The General Assembly has proposed that change this year but opposition from defense attorney lobbyists and democrats has stalled the efforts. WRAL even had an article about this a while back.

  • deblong Sep 16, 2011

    That's all she gets for such a heinous crime? Shocking!!

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 16, 2011

    To those making comments about the prosecutor, I did a search for information on him and here's some of what I found.

    http://www.ncdistrictattorney.org/25/yourdistrictattorney.html

    http://www.unctv.org/election/candidates/district_attorney/district_attorney_25_gaither.html

  • tierneemalinadeveaux Sep 16, 2011

    I cannot BELIEVE she only got 18 years. This case was cut and dry from the very beginning. How in the world these "Barney Fife" prosecutors keep their jobs is beyond me. She should have gotten the death penalty. She dismembered that child. Is 18 years really justice in anyone's mind? Come on judge!!!! Give me a break.

  • youpeoplearesoentertaining Sep 16, 2011

    This is soooo wrong and makes me sick to my stomach!!

  • BEACH Sep 16, 2011

    The Judge in the case NEEDS NOT TO BE RE=ELECTED. Only the people can control this. He did not do right by this poor little girl, Wonder how he sleeps at night. People in Hickory need to get together and make sure he is not elected again.

  • Wendellcatlover Sep 16, 2011

    I believe the judge's hands were tied to an extent. I'm not sure about this, but I don't think life in prison is an option for 2nd degree murder. When she plead out to 2nd degree, she knew what she was doing. She knew life in prison was not one of the options for the judge. That's why she cooperated and told the police where to find Zahra's remains. However, in my opinion, the judge should have given her the maximum time for 2nd degree murder. Anyone know what that may have been?

  • shebaperson Sep 16, 2011

    This story makes me sick to my stomach!!! 15-18 years is a JOKE, people get more time for robbery!! And she killed a helpless little girl. The world failed this little girl on so many levels. The dad is just as responsible as the stepmother. Maybe he didn’t kill her but he was well aware that his daughter was being abused. And furthermore, what kind of county do we live in where multiple people witness the little girl being beaten and no one does anything about it. She once went to school with 2 BLACK EYES!! Where were the teachers? I think everyone has this “it’s none of my business” attitude and they just turn a blind eye. Well it needs to stop! Children need advocates!

  • GulfWarVet Sep 16, 2011

    My God... this country is SO wrong when it comes to cases like this. Right to a fair trial trumps true justice. Hope they find her a cold dark clamy prison cell to live out her days.

  • danunger Sep 16, 2011

    Now you all see what the Justice system has valued innocent human life at.

  • johnstonredneck Sep 16, 2011

    1-why did she get such a light sentence when she committed a heinous crime such as she did?
    2- why isn't the father being charged as well? If he was any kind of prent, he would have reported the child missing. I am still sure that he was involved one way or other.

  • RALEIGHNATIVE25 Sep 16, 2011

    Zahra received the death "penalty" but her murderer gets to walk out of court with 18 years. Even if she does actually serve all 18, where is the justice? Sad !!!

  • myersgirl99 Sep 15, 2011

    Oh yeah... so she is killed 2 weeks before reported missing and the father has nothing to do with it? Did he not question where HIS child was for 2 weeks??

  • myersgirl99 Sep 15, 2011

    Wow... what's wrong with the judicial system in this country? Something is seriously wrong when you can murder a child, dismember her and throw her remains out for the vultures...and walk away with an 18 year sentence, which we all know she won't spend that long. Ugh!

  • eccgc Sep 15, 2011

    Insane!

Oldest First