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WATCH LIVE: Boston Toddler Bella Bond Murder Trial, Day 13

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Testimony continues in the case against Michael P. McCarthy. He’s accused of killing a two-year-old girl first known only as “Baby Doe. The girl turned out to be Bella Bond. Her body was found on the shore of an island in Boston Harbor on June 25, 2015.

Prosecutors have elicited little testimony and have offered little evidence linking McCarthy to the crime beyond the testimony of the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond.

Rachelle Bond, a former prostitute and drug user who became pregnant while homeless, faced harsh cross-examination from defense attorneys over changes to her story surrounding her daughter’s death. She also faced tough questioning over her plea deal: in return for admitting involvement in disposing her daughter’s body and for continuing to cash more than $1,300 in social services payments earmarked for Bella, Rachelle Bond faces a sentence involving little more than time served and probation. Defense attorneys say it’s a deal that gives her all the more incentive to lie.

Bond testified that she walked into a room in the apartment she shared with McCarthy to see him punch her daughter so hard that the daughter’s body lifted off the mattress. However, her version of events changed several times on the witness stand.
She described Bella as “swollen” and “gray.” She later testified being with McCarthy when she says he disposed of the body in what’s known as the Reserve Channel, an area of water leading off of Boston Harbor.

The medical examiner who examined Bella’s decomposed body said that the mother’s most horrific version of the story is “unlikely.” Forensics experts testified that there is no physical evidence linking McCarthy to the crime.

However, investigators recovered weights under the water at the location they believe McCarthy threw the girl’s body into the water. A friend testified that McCarthy had visited the spot frequently before. The weights are said to have matched others found in a plumbing business owned by McCarthy’s father.

Prosecutor David Deakin asked the judge Tuesday to give the jury the option of convicting McCarthy of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. That charge would carry a sentence of up to twenty years in prison. The current murder charge carries a possible life sentence. Defense attorneys objected to the inclusion of that instruction.

The case largely rests upon the credibility of Rachelle Bond, the girl’s mother, who thus far is the only person to directly link McCarthy to the girl’s death.

The defense argues that Rachelle Bond is the real killer.

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