HICKORY, N.C. -- Zahra Baker’s parents said an 18 year prison sentence for Elisa Baker isn’t much justice for a person they describe as pure evil.
A judge sentenced Elisa Baker Thursday after she pleaded guilty to murdering the 10-year-old who battled cancer and wore a prosthetic leg. Elisa Baker was Zahra’s stepmother.
In court, Zahra’s biological mother Emily Dietrich, read a victim statement saying her life has been ripped apart.
"Because none of us know how we're meant to deal with such unimaginable things happening to such a beautiful young lady,” Dietrich said.
Adam Baker, Zahra’s father, said Elisa Baker destroyed his life.
"I trusted you with the most precious person in my life and you not only lied to me, you lied to Zahra,” he said.
Elisa Baker didn't just kill Zahra - she dismembered and dumped her body.
"Zahra will never get to go to high school, have a real boyfriend, never get married and never have children,” Adam Baker said. "You robbed her of her future. You robbed the world of an amazing little girl who I have no doubt would have changed the world. There are no words to explain the hate I have for you, for the hurt and pain I feel every day.”
18 years in prison might be the sentence, but both parents said it is not real justice.
"I feel there will be no real justice for Zahra. Her life was taken by an evil selfishness none of us will ever understand or comprehend,” Dietrich said.
With court over and Elisa Baker headed back behind bars, much of the talk focused on how Zahra died. Elisa never said how. She never gave a motive either. But District Attorney James Gaither had a theory.
"Her value maybe had diminished, if that makes sense,” he said.
But it doesn't. How could Zahra somehow not be important to Elisa Baker, when Zahra was so important to everyone else?
"I have only ever wanted to protect her but was not able. My only hope is she is in a place where she will no longer feel the pains for mortality. When she can rest and no longer have the need to be so courageous,” Dietrich said.
Adam Baker asked Elisa to tell him where the rest of Zahra's body is, so he can have her entire remains.
Elisa Baker had claimed Adam was involved - and helped her dispose of Zahra's body, but prosecutors revealed he had nothing to do with the murder.