Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy charged with first degree murder in toddler death

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a one-year-old girl she had been caring for in a Cambridge apartment, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.’s office said today.

Previously, Brady McCarthy had only been charged with assault and battery following the death of Rehma Sabir in January, and her attorney has repeatedly said that Brady McCarthy has been wrongly accused of harming the child.

But today, prosecutors said a Middlesex County grand jury has returned indictments of first degree murder and assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury against the nanny.

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An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled.

According to prosecutors, public safety personnel responded to Ash Street in Cambridge on Jan. 14 after the child was found unresponsive. The child was rushed to Boston’s Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead on Jan. 16.

Brady McCarthy pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault and battery on Jan. 22, and has been held on $500,000 cash bail. In hearings in Cambridge District Court, defense attorney Melinda Thompson has repeatedly said Brady McCarthy is innocent of murder, and also repeatedly demanded that prosecutors officially determine the child’s death cause of death.

Thompson could not be reached for comment this afternoon.

In a statement, prosecutors said they now have established the cause of Sabir’s death, which has not been publicly disclosed until today.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and ruled that the cause of death is blunt force head injuries, and the manner of death is homicide and not accidental,’’ prosecutors said in the statement.

According to prosecutors, investigators have concluded that Brady McCarthy was alone with the infant when the fatal injuries took place.

“It is alleged that on January 14, the child was in the care of the defendant, her nanny,’’ prosecutors said in the statement. “Through their investigation, including interviews with witnesses, police concluded that the defendant had sole custody of and contact with the child during the time that the child sustained the abusive head trauma injuries that caused her death.’’

Brady, a native of Ireland who has been in the country illegally, faces deportation to Ireland if she is freed from state custody, according to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

In a police report filed in Cambridge court in January, police reported finding blood-stained baby wipes in Sabir’s bedroom along with a blood-stained pillow and blanket in the toddler’s crib.

The report said that doctors discovered that the girl had fractures to her left ulna, or elbow bone; her left tibia, or her shin bone; and left fibula, another leg bone, that were between two weeks and two months old. The child also had compression fractures to her vertebrae in multiple locations.

According to court records, Brady McCarthy was in charge of a second infant on Jan. 14 because Rehma Sabir’s parents, Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui, were part of a nanny share. The second child, a 7-month-old boy, was dropped off around 12:20 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. the second child was unharmed.

Police alleged in the report that the fatal blows were delivered sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. when Brady McCarthy contacted the infant’s father and reported the child was unresponsive.