BURLINGTON (CBS) – As the woman accused of murdering a baby in Burlington took the stand in her own defense, prosecutors grilled her for over an hour with questions about that day.
“She wasn’t breathing, she had labored breathing. All I was thinking was to bring her back to breathing,” said Pallavi Macharla inside Middlesex Superior Court Wednesday.
When asked why she didn’t ask for help, the 44-year-old replied, “I could not think of asking [for] anybody’s help.”
The Middlesex District Attorney charged Macharla for the death of 6-month-old Ridhima Dhekane.
The baby had been under Macharla’s care back in March of 2014. Prosecutors say an autopsy revealed the baby died from blunt force trauma and shaking injuries to the head.
Macharla’s defense attorney says the baby became unresponsive after vomiting her mother’s home-made applesauce. Macharla maintains the amount of sauce she gave the infant didn’t fill the spoon.
Macharla practiced medicine in her native India. Prosecutors allege she should’ve known to call 9-1-1 but instead called the child’s mother when the baby became distressed.
Jurors assigned to the case, now in its third week, have heard extensive testimony. Including conflicting accounts from the two medical examiners tasked with determining the baby’s cause of death. At least one of the doctors who testified said autopsy findings are inconclusive.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Macharla faces life in prison without parole.
Closing arguments in the case could happen as soon as Friday.