BOSTON (CBS) — Testimony in the Bella Bond murder trial will resume Monday, but only after a difficult day in court Friday.
The trial ended the week with the testimony of Bella Bond’s biological father, Joe Amoroso. He took to the witness stand Friday afternoon saying, “I’m just here to tell the truth.”
Amoroso described how Rachelle Bond told him about her attempts to cover up the death of the toddler, adding that he didn’t call the police because he wanted Bond to tell his mother that Bella was dead.
However, he also told the court that he wanted to try to protect Rachelle.
“I wanted to protect her story that she was telling me. I believed her,” Amoroso said.
He also said that Bond gave him two cell phones before she went to jail.
He also said he learned about Bella’s body being found from the television, but the situation changed quickly. Amoroso was asked if something happened. He said, “Yes, the Massachusetts State Police were at my door.”
Amoroso’s return to the stand Friday followed testimony from the State’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry Nields.
Nields said the cause of death was either by asphyxiation or by blunt force to the heart. Although he was unable to pinpoint the exact cause of death, Nields pointed to the bruises he found on Bella’s arms, stomach, lower back, and thigh.
On June 26, 2015, chief medical examiner Dr. Henry Nields ruled Bella’s death a homicide but never specified how she died.
Photos of the toddler’s body were not shown in court because they were called “too graphic.”
In court on Thursday, Amoroso told jurors that he made the trip from Georgia to Boston in 2015 to be a part of Bella’s life for the first time.
He said when he asked Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, where the girl was, Bond told him she was at her godparents’, though she was already dead.
Bella was 2-years-old when her body was found washed up on Deer Island in 2015. For months, she was known as ‘Baby Doe’ while officials worked to identify her and understand how she died.
Michael McCarthy, the ex-boyfriend of Bond, is now on trial for first-degree murder. In their opening statements, prosecutors said that McCarthy called Bella a demon and that he threatened to kill Bella’s mother if she told anyone about the girl’s death.
Bond reached a plea deal on accessory charges after the murder for her testimony against McCarthy. She could walk free on time served if McCarthy is found guilty. Otherwise, Bond could face jail time on perjury charges if the jury does not believe her recount of Bella’s death.
Amoroso said during jury selection that, “I don’t feel they deserve to be breathing.”