District Attorney who prosecuted Elisa Baker loses in runoff

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Results are in for the North Carolina runoff election and it looks like there will be a new district attorney in the three-county district covering Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.

LINK: Local Election Results

David Learner has defeated incumbent Jay Gaither to win the Republican nomination in a race for district attorney in western North Carolina where the candidates traded accusations.

In unofficial returns from Tuesday's voting, Learner got almost 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Gaither. The victory means Learner will represent District 25 because no Democrats were running in the three-county district.

Learner criticized Gaither for the sentence handed down to Elisa Baker in the 2010 death of her stepdaughter, Zahra. Gaither hit back at Learner over his link to a multilevel sales company that was shut down last year by the Federal Trade Commission, which called it a pyramid scheme.

Gaither was also the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former assistant prosecutor.

Nikki Shaffer claims he touched her leg inappropriately and repeatedly sent her suggestive text messages.
 
Gaither said he fired her because he says she had an affair with a defense attorney and she's been targeting him since.