BOSTON -- A lawyer for a manwhose body washed up on a Boston Harbor beach told jurors in his closing argument that the girl's mother is a "monster" who killed her own daughter.
But a prosecutor painted a much different picture of his star witness Rachelle Bond, conceding in his closing arguments that while she behaved "inexcusably" and kept silent about the crime for months, there's no evidence she killed her daughter.
Michael McCarthy is accused of killing two-year-old Bella Bond in 2015. The jury was handed the case after closing arguments Tuesday and deliberated for about two hours without reaching a verdict.
A composite image of "Baby Doe" was shared by millions on social media after her body was found on Massachusetts' Deer Island in June 2015. The child wasn't identified as Bella Bond until three months later, when Rachelle Bond told McCarthy's friend she had seen McCarthy kill the child, and the friend notified police.
Rachelle Bond told jurors during his murder trial that she saw McCarthy punch the girl in the abdomen so hard that she bounced off a bed. Bondafter the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of her daughter's body, and testified for the prosecution.
After McCarthy allegedly dumped the two-year-old child's remains in a duffel bag off the waters of South Boston, Rachelle Bond said she told him,
She said McCarthy replied, "It was her time to die.
Prosecutor David Deakin contended that McCarthy wasand brought a "a cloud of trouble" to Rachelle Bond's home – including heroin – when he moved in with her in early 2015. Deakin said while the motive might never be known, McCarthy went into Bella's room one night at bedtime and killed her when she wouldn't go to sleep.
"Whether he went in there believing she was a demon, thereby showing his opinion of her, or whether instead as someone who was interested … in the occult and demonology and satanism, he came up with that as an excuse to tell Rachelle Bond in a desperate hope that she would believe it and that she would forgive or accept what he had done–or at a minimum, not go to the authorities right away," he said.
But McCarthy's lawyer Jonathan Shapiro told jurors Rachelle Bond was the one who was obsessed with demonology, and it was she who killed the girl. He called the prosecution's motive "absurd" and said McCarthy loved the girl. He said there was no physical evidence tying McCarthy to the crime – only Rachelle Bond's "unbelievable" testimony.
He said Rachelle Bond created a "web of lies" to blame McCarthy.
"In the end, the monster came for that little girl, and it was her mother," Shapiro said.
Deakin said that while there was no physical evidence implicating McCarthy, he said the defendant's "symbolic fingerprints are all over the dumping of that body." He held up the weights prosecutors said McCarthy used to toss the child's body into Boston Harbor, weights which they contend come from his father's plumbing shop to which he had a key.
"There's absolutely no question the defendant dumped Bella Bond's body, and there's absolutely no question, therefore, that he murdered the child," Deakin said.
During his police interview, McCarthy "forgot to act surprised" when an investigator told him the child was dead and didn't act concerned about the child's welfare. Shapiro had contended that McCarthy didn't know the girl was dead because Rachelle Bond had told him the girl had been taken away by child welfare officials.
Prosecutors say Rachelle Bond didn't tell anyone about the child's death sooner because McCarthy had threatened to kill her and she was afraid of him. But Shapiro said the fact that Rachelle Bond didn't ask for help points to her guilt.
"After hearing her story, everyone wonders, why didn't you call 911, or yell and scream for help?" Shapiro said. "That's easy. There was no reason for Rachelle Bond to yell for help or call 911, because that whole terrible story that Michael killed Bella while putting her to bed was a gruesome figment of her imagination."
Shapiro said Bond was the one who should be on trial, while Deakin told jurors Bond was a good mother and asked them not to discount her testimony.
"She loved her daughter, and she was trying, with very significant limitations, to be a mother to her," Deakin said.
Jurors are expected to resume deliberations Wednesday.