Michael McCarthy, the man convicted this week of killing two-year-old Bella Bond, has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 20 years.
McCarthy was sentenced Wednesday morning, following his conviction on Monday of second-degree murder for the death of Bella Bond. Bella was previously known for months only as “Baby Doe” after her remains washed ashore on a Boston Harbor Island in June 2015.
McCarthy’s ex-girlfriend and Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, testified against McCarthy during the trial as part of a plea deal.
McCarthy’s lawyer, Jonathan Shapiro, called Bond an “unreliable witness.” Bond has a history of heroin addiction and made contradicting statements, telling the police during the investigation that she saw McCarthy dump Bella’s body in the Boston Harbor. During the trial, Bond admitted that she did not see that directly.
McCarthy’s lawyer, Jonathan Shapiro, argued during the trial that it was Bond who killed Bella and then blamed McCarthy for the murder.
After the verdict was announced at McCarthy’s trial, Shapiro said that the conviction was a “travesty of justice,” according to the Boston Globe, for sending “an innocent man to prison.”
During the sentencing hearing Wednesday morning, Shapiro said that, “We’re left not knowing that happened [to Bella] because what Bond said was a lie.”
Shapiro added that McCarthy had a “hard life, that was clear in all the testimony.” McCarthy had a history of heroin addiction as well.
Bond testified during the trial that she saw McCarthy punch Bella in the stomach. He also called the toddler a demon, she said, and that “it was her time to die.”
Second-degree murder comes with a mandatory life sentence. Shapiro asked the judge that McCarthy be granted parole eligibility after 15 years, which is the state minimum.
The prosecution asked the judge that he not be up for parole until after 25 years.
The judge landed in the middle, sentencing McCarthy to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.