BOSTON (CBS) — Jurors left without a verdict after their first full day of deliberations Wednesday in the trial of the man accused of killing two-year-old Bella Bond and dumping her body in Boston Harbor.
Michael McCarthy is charged with first-degree murder in Bella’s death.
After hearing 15 days of testimony, a jury of eight men and four women is now deciding whether to convict McCarthy of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or manslaughter or to find him not guilty of any of those charges.
Prosecutors say McCarthy killed Bella because he thought she was a “demon,” but the defense said the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, was the one who held bizarre occult beliefs and killed her daughter.
In passionate closing arguments Tuesday, both sides painted opposing pictures of Rachelle Bond. The defense portrayed her as a liar covering up her daughter’s death and the prosecution claimed she was a loving, but imperfect mother.
During the last three weeks, the jury heard about Bella’s short and tragic life and both sides’ accounts of how the little girl ended up dead, her body washed ashore on Deer Island in the summer of 2015.
Legal analyst Jennifer Roman weighed in on Wednesday.
She said, “I think the jury is really in a bit of a quandary here because the case really is so horrific and it shocks our sense of morality on such a deep level that the jury has to ask itself would a mother knowingly and intentionally allow a man to kill her child and cover it up… Or the converse which is equally as appalling which is would a mother kill her own child?”
During the course of the trial, 169 pieces of evidence were introduced, and 34 witnesses testified.
The jury officially received the case around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday. Jurors will return to deliberate Thursday morning.