HICKORY, N.C. -- Hickory attorney Lisa Dubs specializes in high-profile death penalty cases.
Now that she made a deal sparing Elisa Baker from the possibility of a death sentence, Dubs says she is no longer representing Baker, who is charged in the death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, her stepdaughter.
Dubs spoke publicly Thursday for the first time about the plea deal that Baker agreed to last October.
"If Elisa Baker hadn't cooperated, I'm convinced that there would still be a big mystery about what happened to Zahra Baker," said Dubs.
"We negotiated an agreement whereby Ms. Baker would cooperate in helping locate Zahra's body,' she added.
Zahra Baker was reported missing from her Hickory home by her father, Adam Baker on Oct. 9, 2010.
Elisa Baker was arrested soon after, charged with writing a fake ransom note to throw off police investigators.
Dubs says Baker agreed to cooperate with police and then led them to locations where partial remains of the 10-year-old were found.
Dubs would not comment on the terms of the cooperation agreement but did say, "I think the result's been exactly what Elisa expected when she cooperated."
Last Monday a charge of second-degree murder was filed against Elisa.
She previously told police that Adam Baker had been the one who dismembered his daughter's body but Adam Baker has not been charged.
"Why the state is not pursuing a charge against Adam Baker? My answer to that is I have no earthly idea why," said Dubs.
Asked if after all of her conversations with Elisa Baker Dubs had an idea of how Zahra Baker actually died, Dubs said "No ... I've seen the autopsy and you guys have too."
The medical examiner listed the cause of death as undetermined homicidal violence.
Dubs said she understood that there had been criticism of the agreement taking the death penalty off the table but added, "There is no question this is a tragedy, but it doesn't need to be more of a tragedy with speculation and sensationalism."