June 28 (UPI) — The man who killed 2-year-old “Baby Doe” has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 20 years.
Michael McCarthy, convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Bella Bond — the toddler known only as Baby Doe when her remains were found two years ago on an island in Boston Harbor — was sentenced Wednesday.
The crime carries an automatic life sentence with the possibility for parole in 15 years in Massachusetts. But on Wednesday, Suffolk Superior Judge Janet L. Sanders extended that term to 20 years.
Sanders also refused a request from McCarthy’s attorneys to delay his imprisonment by two weeks in order to make safety arrangements — due to the national attention the case has received.
“I think being one of the most notorious people in the commonwealth, having been convicted of killing a child, he has reason to be concerned,” defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro said. “We want to make sure he goes to an institution where they know the circumstances and are willing and able to ensure his safety.”
McCarthy, 37, has maintained innocence and blames ex-girlfriend Rachelle Bond, Bella’s mother, for the murder.
“An innocent man is going to prison for the rest of his life for a crime that she committed,” Shapiro said.
Bond pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact. She maintains that McCarthy killed her daughter one night when she refused to go to sleep, put her body in a garbage bag, weighed it down and dropped it into Boston Harbor.
Bond also pleaded guilty to larceny for collecting welfare benefits for her child after the girl was dead. She’s spent 22 months in jail and was set to be released after McCarthy’s conviction Monday, but was not allowed to enter drug treatment — possibly due to her case’s notoriety — and she chose to remain in jail until a treatment center accepts her.
“She has nowhere to go,” said her lawyer, Janice Bassil.
“She does not want to be released to the streets,” Bassil added. “Her goal right now is to stay clean and sober and get back on her feet.”