‘She always wanted to be around her mom,’ neighbor says of Bella Bond

Michael McCarthy (left) spoke with his attorney during his murder trial. Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe

Rachelle Bond was devoted to her 2-year-old daughter, Bella, and seemed determined to avoid heroin, but she changed for the worse once Michael McCarthy moved into her Dorchester apartment in 2015, a former neighbor testified Wednesday.

The mother’s outward appearance and behavior declined, neighbor Yessi Omar Torres said, recalling the moment when she saw Rachelle Bond tossing children’s clothing and toys into the garbage.

Torres was the leadoff witness for Suffolk prosecutors Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of McCarthy, who is accused of fatally beating Bella Bond.

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