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Judge to decide where to move Zahra’s stepmom’s trial

NEWTON, NC (AP) — A North Carolina judge plans to say where he’s moving a trial for a woman accused of killing her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter.

Forty-three-year-old Elisa Baker is charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the death of Zahra Baker, the freckle-faced Australian girl who had a prosthetic leg and hearing aids because of her fight with bone cancer. Elisa Baker also is being arraigned Monday on those charges.

Citing intense pretrial publicity, Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid agreed to move the trial.

Authorities say Baker dismembered the girl’s body to cover up her killing. She could face up to 30 years in prison if she’s convicted.

Defense attorney Scott Reilly has argued that publicity would make it difficult to seat an impartial jury in Catawba County.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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