Bella Bond Trial: Forensic Experts Called To Stand

BOSTON (CBS) — Prosecutors continued to make their case to jurors in the Bella Bond murder trial Tuesday.

Attorney Barrat Hoban took the stand around 9:30 a.m to testify about how Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, owed rent and was taken to housing court.

Bond’s former boyfriend, Michael McCarthy is being tried for the first-degree murder of two-year-old Bella in 2015.

Hoban said Bond appeared “agitated” in court and told him that McCarthy was tracking her.

Though their initial interaction was unpleasant, Hoban said he lightened up on Bond and even left his cell phone number at the bottom of their agreements upon her request. McCarthy might be calling him to confirm she was here.

He continued to explain that he went out of his way to try and help her further.

“I put down specifically that she was with me until 2,” he said. “Because she had mentioned that, essentially, her boyfriend was keeping tabs on her and I wanted to give her some leeway in case it took her a little time to get out of court and back to him.”

hoganatbondtrial Bella Bond Trial: Forensic Experts Called To Stand

Housing attorney Barrat Hoban testifies in court on June 13, 2017 (WBZ-TV)

Bella’s body was found washed up in a bag on Deer Island. State Police Detective Daniel Herman testified on Monday to being called to Deer Island and then seeing the “bag with a blanket, then hands, and little feet.”

Herman also identified other articles of clothing that were with Bella’s body, matching items found in the house, and books on the origins of the devil and exorcism that were also at Bella’s home.

Jay Woodhead, a civilian with the Coast Guard Boston search and rescue planning team also took the stand Tuesday.

As an expert on drift analysis, he described how investigators are able to take a piece of information, such as the last known location of a boat, and then track it down.

driftexpertbondtrial Bella Bond Trial: Forensic Experts Called To Stand

Jay Woodhead, drift analysis expert, takes the stand on June 13, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

In this case, when Bella’s body was found on land, Woodland said that investigators would have conducted a reverse drift analysis and worked to find the last place that she had been in the water.

Woodhead also said that the analysis was done using a “boating debris” stimulation because Bella’s body was so small. An adult body would have drifted in a different manner, he said.

When Woodhead was asked whether he had an opinion if it was possible for the body of a two-year-old to float from the Reserve Channel in South Boston to Deer Island, he said, “Yes sir, it is quite possible.”

Following a lunch break and Woodhead’s cross-examination, four more experts were called to testify.

Edelyn Acker, a supervisor at the Mass. State Police Crime Lab criminalistics unit and the last expert of the day to be called, will return to the stand on Wednesday.

The three others finished their testimonies by saying they finding no evidence connecting McCarthy to the crime in their respective investigations.

Timothy Woods, a crime scene responder and forensic chemist for the Massachusetts Crime Laboratory took the stand first.

He was dismissed after testifying that he found no blood or forensic evidence in McCarthy’s car.

Massachusetts State Police Investigator Karrol Setalsingh then testified that he found no fingerprints that would connect McCarthy to the crime.

Abbey Scott, a forensic scientist for the Massachusetts State Police crime lab testified about the blankets and articles of clothing from Bella’s body that she tested. She said she found no connection to McCarthy.

sidebyside Bella Bond Trial: Forensic Experts Called To Stand

Rachelle Bond’s daughter Bella and the image of Baby Doe issued by police. (Facebook photo and State Police image)

Bella was known as Baby Doe as she went unidentified for months. Police said the digitally-generated photo of the toddler had been viewed on the internet more than 50 million times.

Rachelle Bond agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for a guilty plea in the case. She could walk free on time served at the end of the trial.

The judge said Tuesday that she expects the case to go to the jury next week.

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