Defense tells jury man comforted, cared for ‘Baby Doe’

Michael McCarthy and Bella Bond

BOSTON (AP) — A defense attorney has told jurors that a man accused of beating a 2-year-old girl to death comforted the girl when she had nightmares and took care of her when her mother was unavailable.

In-Depth Coverage: Baby Doe Investigation »

Michael McCarthy is charged in the 2015 death of his former girlfriend’s daughter.

Bella Bond was known for months only as “Baby Doe” as authorities struggled to identify her after her body washed up on a Boston Harbor island. A composite image of the girl was shared by millions on social media.

During opening statements Tuesday, McCarthy’s lawyer rejected the prosecution’s claim that McCarthy killed the girl because he believed she had become possessed by a demon.

Shapiro said it was the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, who wrote about children possessed by demons.

Bond pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of her body. She’s expected to testify against McCarthy.