Friday, September 16, 2011

Read District Attorney's statement on guilty plea

District Attorney Jay Gaither spoke to the press immediately following Elisa Baker's guilty plea.

Baker, 43, was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her stepdaughter Zahra Baker. Elisa Baker also pled guilty to obstruction of justice, bigamy, four counts of obtaining property through false pretenses, and two counts of identity fraud.

Talking to the media, Gaither recounted how his investigative team handled the case. He read a statement documenting some of his thought process and the work of his team starting from Oct. 9 when Zahra was reported missing up to the decision to enter into a plea agreement with defense attorneys.

Read the full statement here.

"On Sunday, October 24th I met with defense counsel to determine under what terms Elisa Baker was willing to give cooperation and to determine exactly what information she professed to have.   When I learned that Elisa Baker could give us the location of Zahra Baker’s remains and that she could give us details of how Zahra died, my heart sank.  Throughout the search I had been of the same opinion as Chief Adkins… that we were investigating a homicide.  But along with the community and law enforcement, I had continued to hold out hope that Zahra was still alive."

-- District Attorney Jay Gaither

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