Rachelle Bond’s attorney attempts to bolster case of ‘coercion’

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, file photo, Rachelle Bond is arraigned on charges of acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, the girl dubbed Baby Doe, in Dorchester District Court in Boston. Bond is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, Oct. 20. (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool, File)
Rachelle Bond is arraigned on September. 21, 2015. —Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

Rachelle Bond’s attorney is trying to build a case that her client was coerced, and under the control of Michael McCarthy, her child’s alleged killer.

Bond is charged with accessory to murder after the fact in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Bella Bond, whose body was found wrapped in a plastic bag on the shore of Deer Island in June of last year. The case received national attention, as Bella remained unidentified for nearly three months until Bond allegedly told McCarthy’s friend Michael Springsky, “Michael McCarthy killed her.”

At a pretrial hearing in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday, Bond’s attorney, Janice Bassil, tried to get ahold of evidence that allegedly shows McCarthy had been violent in the past. She said Springsky alluded to McCarthy’s violent history in grand jury testimony.

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Bassil says that during that hearing, Sprinksy attempted to address McCarthy’s alleged violent history on three separate occasions.

“The first two times the [district attorney] cut him off,” said Bassil outside the courtroom. “The last time, I think a grand juror said, ‘Well, tell us about Michael Mccarthy’s violence,’ and the DA instructed him not to answer.”

Bassil said that Sprinksy was instructed not to answer questions about McCarthy’s previous violence because it could be prejudicial to McCarthy, who has been charged with Bella’s murder. “But it’s actually exculpatory to Rachelle Bond because it supports her story that he was violent toward her,” said Bassil, who says her case rests on McCarthy’s “coercion” of her client.

McCarthy was Bond’s live-in boyfriend. Bond told police she saw McCarthy strike Bella in the abdomen, and that her skin turned gray. After she died, Bella was allegedly kept in a refrigerator for several weeks before authorities say the couple dumped her into the sea.

McCarthy’s attorney has flatly disputed Bond’s account.

Assistant District Attorney David Deakin says Bassil’s request for evidence of McCarthy’s violent past may be close to impossible to produce, simply because it does not exist. “I don’t think we have that information in writing or otherwise,” he said.

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Though he added that he does not object to Bond’s efforts to gather that information.

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