BOSTON (CBS) — The father of Bella Bond told jurors about how, in the summer of 2015, he confronted the girl’s mother, telling her he was finally ready to be a father.
He wasn’t aware that his daughter had been dead for three months.
Amoroso was on the witness stand Thursday in the trial of Michael McCarthy, who is charged with first-degree murder in Bella’s death.
He described meeting Rachelle when they were both homeless. He said she was panhandling, and he gave her some change.
Amoroso later went to Georgia, and said never met his daughter–but he told the court how the little girl sounded so happy on the telephone, and how that made him want to make the trip up from the South in 2015 to be a part of her life.
At the time, Bella and her mother were living with McCarthy in a Dorchester apartment.
Prosecutors say McCarthy struck and killed Bella one night because he was obsessed with the occult and believed she was a “demon.”
The defense, however, claims Rachelle Bond killed her daughter.
Amoroso said he had contacted the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families twice because he didn’t feel that McCarthy and Bella’s mother were providing a good household for the child.
“I didn’t feel like Bella was in a safe environment,” Amoroso said. “I wanted her out.”
He described how he went to visit Rachelle, asking to see Bella–but she told him Bella was with her godparents.
In reality, Bella’s body had washed up on Deer Island months before, and a nationwide search was underway for the identity of the little girl then known only as “Baby Doe.”
On another occasion, Rachelle still didn’t tell him what had happened to Bella.
When she finally did, Amoroso said, he became enraged.
“She told me Bella was dead,” he said. “I flipped out, I punched a concrete pillar.”
Amoroso visited the Suffolk County Superior Court during jury selection, and said he wanted to see those responsible for his daughter’s death punished.
“I don’t feel they deserve to be breathing,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, Rachelle Bond wrapped up her testimony. It was her fifth day on the witness stand.
She cried as photos of Bella she had shared on her Facebook page were shown on court monitors.
McCarthy’s defense focused on other photos posted by Rachelle on social media–like a photo stating, “I’m the kind of friend who will help you hide a dead body.”
As part of a deal with prosecutors, Rachelle pleaded guilty to helping dispose of Bella’s body.
As a result, she could walk free at the end of the trial if McCarthy is convicted–but a judge explained to jurors Wednesday that she could still be charged with perjury if a jury decides it doesn’t believe her version of Bella’s death.
Rachelle also answered questions about messages where she talked with a friend about getting a 9mm gun.
She said she always thought guns were “good for protection for a family.”
Amoroso’s testimony will be interrupted Friday by testimony from the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Bella’s body, because that examiner’s testimony was pre-scheduled.
Amoroso will be back on the stand after.