Man charged in Baby Doe’s death pleads not guilty to murder

This undated identification photo released Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office shows Michael McCarthy, boyfriend of Rachel Bond the mother of Bella Bond, the toddler whose body was found in a trash bag on a Boston Harbor beach in June and who was known for months as only Baby Doe. McCarthy was arrested and charged with murder in Bella's death. Rachel Bond was charged as an accessory to murder after the fact. (Suffolk County District Attorney's Office via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — A man charged with killing a 2-year-old girl who was dubbed Baby Doe after her body washed up on a Boston Harbor island pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree murder.

Michael McCarthy was held without bail at his arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court in the death of his girlfriend’s daughter, Bella Bond.

The girl was known for months as Baby Doe after her body was found in a trash bag by a dog walker in June and detectives searched for her identity.

Her mother, Rachelle Bond, is accused of helping McCarthy conceal Bella’s body. She has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and collecting welfare benefits after the child’s death.

Bond’s lawyer says that she denies helping McCarthy in any way and that he had psychological control over her.

McCarthy’s lawyer laid blame for the girl’s death on the mother.

“The Commonwealth’s case against Mr. McCarthy is incredibly weak,” Jonathan Shapiro said Monday. “There’s no forensic evidence and no DNA evidence.”

Rachelle Bond’s statement to police that she saw McCarthy hitting the toddler in the abdomen is self-serving, Shapiro said.

McCarthy’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 16.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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