First full day of testimony in Bella Bond trial

The first full day of testimony in the murder trial of the man accused of murdering two-year-old Bella Bond is expected in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday.

Michael McCarthy, 37, is charged with first degree murder for the death of the child whose remains were found in a plastic garbage bag on the shores of Deer Island on June 25, 2o15.


McCarthy has pleaded not guilty.

The child’s identity was not immediately known, leading her to be dubbed “Baby Doe” as an international search for her name began.

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The child was ultimately identified as the daughter of Rachelle Bond who was then living with McCarthy in Dorchester. Rachelle Bond will testify as a prosecution witness against McCarthy, whom Suffolk prosecutors allege viciously beat the child to death when she did fall asleep.

The trial began Tuesday with opening statements from Suffolk Assistant David Deakin and Jonathan Shapiro, McCarthy’s defense attorney.

In the prosecutor’s version of the terrible events of the summer of 2015, Rachelle Bond was a drug-addicted mother who watched helplessly when McCarthy punched the child in the stomach so hard she bounced on the bed. He allegedly threatened to kill the mother if she reported him to police.


But in the other version, laid out by Shapiro, Bond was occult-obsessed, convinced that demons were using her daughter to get to her. It was she — not McCarthy — who pummeled Bella to death and dumped her body into the ocean, the defense attorney said.

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Bond pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact of murder and to larceny over $250 by false purposes, for collecting her daughter’s government benefits after she died. In exchange for her promise to testify, Bond, who has been incarcerated since September 2015, will be credited with time served and placed on two years of probation after the trial.

The first witness in the trial was the dog-walker who discovered Bella’s body, wrapped in a plastic bag. Bonnie Flynn described her mounting horror as she cut a few inches at a time into the tightly knotted bag with a seashell.

First, Flynn saw a fleece blanket, she told the hushed courtroom on Tuesday. She took a deep breath and cut again. A child’s clothing. She cut again. Flies swarmed out. With one final cut, the little girl’s legs dropped out.

John R. Ellement and Evan Allen contributed to this report. Maria Cramer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @globemcramer.