Defense, prosecution trade blame in Boston 'Baby Doe' murder case


Reuters

UPDATE 2-Defense, prosecution trade blame in Boston 'Baby Doe' murder case


(Updates with prosecution's closing statement)
    By Scott MaloneBOSTON, June 20 (Reuters) - A lawyer for the Boston man
accused of murdering a toddler whose remains were found on a
beach in 2015, sparking a months-long effort to identify "Baby
Doe," told a jury that the girl's mother, and not his client,
killed the child.
    A lawyer for Michael McCarthy, 37, in his closing argument
on Tuesday, said McCarthy's former girlfriend, Rachelle Bond,
killed 2-1/2-year-old Bella Bond, saying his client was unaware
of the child's death until he was accused by police.
    Both sides focused on Bond's credibility, with defense
lawyer Jonathan Shapiro noting that she had repeatedly lied to
friends about her child's whereabouts in the months between the
time a woman found the child's badly decomposed remains,
sparking the search for "Baby Doe's" identity, and the couple's
arrest in September 2015.
    Shapiro noted that no forensic evidence tied McCarthy to the
killing, with prosecutors leaning on Bond's testimony to prove
that McCarthy punched the child to death and dumped her body in
a channel on Massachusetts Bay. That testimony was untrue,
Shapiro said.
    "The story she told was clearly made up to cover her own
guilt. It was a web of lies and a changing web of lies," Shapiro
said.
    Bond had told friends, neighbors and McCarthy that the girl
had been taken by state authorities. McCarthy believed that
assertion, Shapiro said.
    "She explained to everyone that Bella was somewhere else,"
Shapiro said. "She lied to everyone and there is no doubt that
her lies and her cover-up were convincing."
    He noted that Bond gave varying accounts of the killing to
police, changing the timing on when it occurred and whether she
saw McCarthy hit the child.
    McCarthy did not testify during his trial.
    Assistant District Attorney David Deakin stood by Bond's
testimony and noted that a friend of McCarthy's, Michael
Sprinsky, testified that he had warned Bond about her
boyfriend's temperament.
    "The defense counsel threw out a challenge to say where's
the evidence that he would do anything to harm a child? I ask
you, ladies and gentlemen, ask Michael Sprinsky," Deakin
recalled. "He said, 'You have to get away from him. He's
crazy.'"
    Bond, 41, pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory
to murder after the fact and testified under a plea deal with
prosecutors.
    If found guilty of the most serious charge, first-degree
murder, McCarthy will be sentenced to life in prison without the
possibility of parole.

 (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Andrea Ricci)
 ((scott.malone@thomsonreuters.com; +1 617 856 4342; Reuters
Messaging: scott.malone.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MASSACHUSETTS MURDER/ (UPDATE 2, PIX)



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