BOSTON A jury on Monday found a Boston man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2015 killing of a MA toddler, whose body washed up on a beach and prompted a months-long search for the identity of "Baby Doe".
McCarthy's lawyer said Bond, who was charged with accessory after the fact, also had a motive to implicate 37-year-old McCarthy, who was her boyfriend at the time and lived with the child and Bond in her Maxwell Street apartment in Dorchester.
Authorities launched an extensive effort to try to identify the girl, known as "Baby Doe", and commissioned a forensic artist to draw a composite image of her.
The widely shared image showed a chubby-cheeked, brown-eyed girl.
A woman walking her dog discovered the child's decomposing remains in a plastic bag on a beach in June 2015.
Prosecutors had charged McCarthy with first-degree murder, but the judge said jurors could also consider two lesser charges - second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, Boston 25 News reported.
They finally found out who she was in September 2015, after Michael Sprinsky, McCarthy's childhood friend, told them that Bella's mother, Rachelle Bond, had confessed to him what had happened. Under a plea deal with prosecutors, Bond is expected to be released after McCarthy's trial, serving less than two years in jail.
Bond testified for five days against McCarthy but the case was considered a weak one by legal specialists, who noted the lack of physical evidence connecting the defendant to the crime and how often Bond had changed important details of her story.
The trial included testimony about the girl's short and tragic life.
"It's primarily heroin that led us all here", Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said in closing statements. The girl was on the bed at the time, according to Bond, and Bond said her whole body bounced with the force of the blow. He said McCarthy had been obsessed with the occult for years.
Bond said McCarthy also threatened to kill her when she tried to leave the room with the girl's body. In the photo, Bond appeared playful, sticking her tongue out.
McCarthy's lawyer aggressively cross-examined Bond about why she didn't call police or report her daughter's death to anyone.