State News

Appeals Court upholds decision to release warrants

An appeals court says a judge made the right decision when he unsealed search warrants in the case of a 10-year-old disabled girl from Australia whose stepmother killed her in Hickory.

Posted Updated
Zahra Claire Baker, 10
RALEIGH, N.C. — An appeals court says a judge made the right decision when he unsealed search warrants in the case of a 10-year-old disabled girl from Australia whose stepmother killed her in Hickory.

A Catawba County Superior Court judge sealed search warrants with critical details of the Zahra Baker case in October, 2010. But another judge released the documents a month later after several news organizations asked to see the warrants.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld that move, saying the prosecutor's office missed a deadline to file a motion that could have kept the documents sealed.

Zahra was killed and dismembered in 2010. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder. Zahra's father, Adam, returned to his Australia in January with his daughter's remains.

Image

Copyright 2022 by WRAL.com and the Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.