McCarthy gave no visible reaction in court as the decision was announced and he was placed in handcuffs Monday morning.
He now faces mandatory life in prison with a chance for parole in 15 years.
He is due to be sentenced on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
It took the jury of eight men and four women a little over 23 hours over the course of five days to reach their decision.
Megan Fewtrell, who said she was Bella’s godmother, told reporters outside court how she felt after the verdict was reached.
“Justice for Bella,” she said. “Finally justice for Bella.”
McCarthy’s defense attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, disagrees–and says they will appeal the conviction.
“Today, there is no justice for Bella Bond,” Shapiro said.
McCarthy was facing a first-degree murder charge in Bella’s death. Jurors could also have opted to convict him of involuntary manslaughter or find him not guilty of any of those charges.
“We don’t take any joy here,” Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said after the verdict was read. “Any lost life is heartbreaking and tragic, but any time someone so young and so innocent is lost, it magnifies the pain and the sorrow to awful proportions. An innocent life was not only snuffed out but callously discarded, and that offends everyone who believes that every human life is precious and deserving of love and respect.”
Prosecutors said 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.
Rachelle was charged with accessory to murder after the fact for allegedly covering up Bella’s death. She was the state’s star witness during the trial, and is expected to be sentenced Tuesday to a term of time served–two years–followed by probation.
Many questioned Rachelle’s story because she admitted she lied multiple times to authorities until she admitted the truth to a friend who ultimately helped police crack the case.
“I feel like she should get more time, but she isn’t the one that killed Bella,” said Fewtrell, who was a former friend of Rachelle’s. “But she is the one who paraded around and lied to cover up the murder of her daughter, and I think she should be charged for that–which she is, and it only carries a two-year sentence.”
Conley, however, said her testimony was important to the case, and defended the plea deal the state had with her.
“Her testimony had the ring of credibility and truth to it, and we were able to corroborate it,” he said.
Michael Sprinsky, the friend to whom Rachelle confessed, told WBZ-TV after the verdict was read that he was ultimately glad that someone is held accountable for Bella’s death.
“Who’s the real Michael McCarthy? A sick psychopath who got what he deserved,” Sprinsky told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kendall Buhl.
Over the course of the trial, 169 pieces of evidence were introduced, and 34 witnesses testified. The trial lasted for 15 days.
Bella’s body washed ashore on Deer Island two years ago Sunday. This past weekend, a vigil was held to mark that sad anniversary.
Veteran defense attorney Phil Tracy speculated to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens on what might have taken this jury such a long time to make a decision.
“There were a lot of witnesses in this case, and a lot of exhibits,” Tracy said. “A thorough jury, if they follow the judge’s instructions, are going to painstakingly go through all of that discussion about what the witness said, what the veracity, credibility of the witness was, and the exhibits.”
Tracy added that he found it interesting that jurors didn’t present a single question to Judge Janet Sanders during deliberation.