Opening statements reportedly began Monday in the murder trial for the suspected killer of Bella Bond, the Massachusetts 2-year-old who became known as “Baby Doe” after her unidentified body was found in a plastic bag near the Boston shoreline in 2015.
Shortly after Bella’s body was identified, Michael McCarthy — the 37-year-old boyfriend of the little girl’s mother — was charged and is now on trial for first-degree murder.
Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, pleaded guilty in February to accessory after the fact of murder. She was sentenced to two years probation plus time served after having been incarcerated in 2015, CBS reported. In exchange, she will have to testify against McCarthy.
Prosecutors have alleged that Bella was killed in May 2015 after she refused to go to bed after enduring prolonged abuse, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said at the couple’s 2015 arraignment.
Prosecutors allege McCarthy killed Bella because he believed her to be possessed by demons.
“She was a demon anyway, it was her time to die,” he allegedly told Bond when she discovered her daughter was dead.
The Associated Press reports that during opening statements, Jonathan Shapiro, McCarthy’s defense attorney, said it was Bella’s mother who believed children could be possessed by demons — not McCarthy.
Shapiro added, “When the little girl had nightmares about scary monsters, he taught her to battle them with love … and blow the heads off the monsters with love.”
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During his opening statement, Deakin, the prosecutor, said McCarthy showed no remorse for his alleged crime while being interviewed by authorities after his arrest.
“Listen for the sign of any concern for the child he lived with for several months,’’ Deakin said. “He knew the truth was he killed Bella Bond and then dumped her body.”
Bella elicited nationwide sympathy when a composite sketch of her was shared by millions on social media before she was identified.
Prosecutors allege that on the night of her death, Bella became “unruly” while Bond was trying to put her to bed. Frustrated, McCarthy offered to help.
When Bella stopped screaming, Bond went to check on her, Deakin said in 2015. Bond allegedly saw McCarthy standing over Bella, whose head appeared to be swollen and whose face was gray.
“She knew at that moment that her daughter was dead,” Deakin said then.
After allegedly saying that Bella was a “demon,” McCarthy then allegedly wrapped Bella’s body in a bag and put her in the refrigerator.
During opening statements, jurors were shown crime scene photographs showing weights McCarthy allegedly put into the plastic bag before dumping it in the water so that Bella’s body remained under the surface.
Deakin said in 2015 that Bond said McCarthy threatened to kill her if she said anything about what had happened. The two proceeded to become “intoxicated for several days after” Bella’s death, Deakin said.