Live testimony resumes today in the murder trial of Michael P. McCarthy. He’s accused of murdering his girlfriend’s two-year-old child, hiding the little girl’s body in a fridge, and then dumping the little girl’s body in Boston harbor.
Yesterday, the judge planned a short day for jurors, with court wrapping up before 1 p.m. Jurors were taken on a bus trip of scenes relevant to the case, including to the Winthrop, Mass. shoreline where a passer-by discovered the little girl’s body while out walking a dog in June 2015.
Authorities struggled to identify the girl. She was at first known as “Baby Doe” on billboards and posters. Later, Michael Sprinsky, a lifelong friend of the defendant’s, made the connection: Baby Doe was really Bella Bond. He testified Wednesday that Rachelle Bond, the girl’s mother, told him that the defendant murdered Bella. McCarthy and Rachelle Bond were living together at the time.
During yesterday’s jury view, defense attorneys objected to a visit to a scene containing a permanent monument in Bella’s memory. They called the trip a “pilgrimage.” The judge said precautions were being taken to ensure the trip wouldn’t result in prejudice to the defendant.
In addition to the shoreline where Bella’s body was found, jurors visited several locations along what’s known as the “Reserve Channel,” a waterway extending to the west from Boston Harbor and into South Boston. Jurors also visited the apartment in Dorchester where Bella was said to have been killed and a plumbing store in Quincy owned by the defendant’s father.
Prosecutors allege McCarthy stuffed Bella’s body into a trash bag and a duffel bag loaded down with weights from the plumbing shop, then threw the girl into the Reserve Channel. Divers located the weights and the duffel bag at the spot where they believe McCarthy threw the girl into the water. Jurors were told to look down at the location during their visit to the scene.
Despite requests by prosecutors, jurors did not go inside the apartment once occupied by the defendant and the girl’s mother. Other occupants are now living there.
However, a last-minute request by the defense to visit the Gillette razor factory in Boston was approved. That is where Rachelle Bond is said to have spent time with Joseph Amoroso, Bella’s father. Defense attorneys told the jury during opening statements that Rachelle Bond is the real killer. The defense wanted the jury to see the Gillette factory’s proximity to the Reserve Channel to argue it was Rachelle Bond who was familiar with the Seaport area, not McCarthy.
Rachelle Bond is scheduled to testify against McCarthy. Bond pleaded guilty to accessory to murder charges and larceny charges for continuing to pocket social services payments. She received two years of probation and credit for time served in return for testifying against McCarthy. Her lawyer said she did not come forward to report the murder because McCarthy threatened her and she feared for her life.
McCarthy has claimed he had no involvement with the little girl’s disappearance. He claims that when he stopped seeing Bella, Rachelle Bond told him the little girl was taken away by child services officials, just as her other two children had.
Amoroso, Bella’s father, plans to attend the entire trial. He was living in Florida when the girl disappeared.