A Suffolk jury on Monday convicted Michael P. McCarthy of second-degree murder for the 2015 killing of 2-year-old Bella Bond, whose unidentified body washed up on shore in a trash bag, betrayed by those who were supposed to care for her.
“Finally, justice for Bella,” said Bond’s godmother, Megan Fewtrell, who shook with sobs after the jury delivered its verdict.
A second-degree murder conviction means McCarthy, who is 37, could spend the rest of his life in prison. Under state law, he would be eligible for parole after serving 15 to 25 years. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.
A jury of four men and eight women deliberated over the course of five days before reaching a decision in a case that centered on a pair of wrenching questions: Who would kill a small child and throw her body into the water? And who was the young girl?
State investigators grappled with the mystery for nearly the entire summer of 2015, after a woman walking her dog found Bella’s body on the shore of Deer Island on June 25.
For almost four months, she was dubbed “Baby Doe” as State Police tracked down hundreds of tips to determine her identity. Authorities finally learned who she was in September 2015, after Michael Sprinsky, McCarthy’s childhood friend, told them that Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, said it was McCarthy who killed the girl.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said Bella Bond was as much a victim of the nation’s heroin epidemic as she was of murder. Rachelle Bond and McCarthy, her boyfriend, were heroin addicts who lived with the child in the Dorchester apartment. Prosecutors asserted throughout the trial that McCarthy enabled Bond’s addiction and used it to keep her under his control in the months after Bella was killed.