BOSTON (CBS) — A judge explained Wednesday that the mother of a two-year-old whose body washed up on a Deer Island beach in 2015 could still face jail time if jurors decide they don’t believe her account of her daughter’s death.
McCarthy, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in Bella’s death.
Prosecutors say McCarthy struck and killed her because he was obsessed with the occult and believed she was a “demon.” The defense, however, claims Rachelle Bond killed her daughter.
As part of her plea deal, Rachelle could get a reduced sentence as an accessory after the fact of murder and walk free on time served at the end of the trial–if McCarthy is found guilty.
If not, she could potentially be prosecuted for perjury–and potentially face life in prison–if the jury decides they don’t believe her account of Bella’s death.
Judge Janet Sanders told the jury to examine her plea deal carefully.
“That means that, in evaluating her credibility, you should consider that agreement, and any hopes that she may have about receiving any future advantages from the Commonwealth,” Sanders said. “It does mean that you must determine whether her testimony has been affected by her interest in the outcome of the case.”
Deakin reminded Bond it would be up to a judge whether or not she goes free or serves more time after this trial.
Defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro greeted Rachelle with a joke–“Good morning Ms. Bond. We’re gonna have to stop meeting like this every morning”–before accusing her again of making up her entire story.
Rachelle claimed during her testimony on Tuesday that, after McCarthy allegedly killed Bella, she was terrified of him, and said he threatened her life.
But Shapiro brought up a series of texts in which she called McCarthy “sweetie” and said she loved him–all from the period after Bella’s death, when she had claimed he was making her live in fear.
He also brought up a Facebook meme Rachelle shared that said “I know how to hide a dead body.”
Prosecutor David Deakin had Rachelle read a DCF report about herself issued months before Bella was killed that said she was not on drugs at the time.
“All of her toxic screens have been negative,” she read from the report.
Rachelle has testified that she got back into drugs when she got involved with McCarthy, and used heavily in the months following Bella’s death.
She told prosecutors that her memory of the time surrounding Bella’s death was clearer now, due to sobriety and therapy.
Rachelle Bond’s testimony is expected to continue for a fifth day Thursday.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports