The Baby Doe Trial Has Begun

Michael McCarthy, Bella Bond's accused killer, is in court.

Rachelle Bond and Michael McCarthy. Photo via Boston Police

The murder trial for the death of Bella Bond, the child who came to be known as Baby Doe during a months-long search for her identity, has begun.

Michael McCarthy, the man accused of killing the 2-year-old child in 2015, is in court today. Rachelle Bond, the child’s mother, has pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact, and also a larceny charge for accepting benefits for her daughter.

According to reports from inside the courtroom, defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro challenged the allegations that McCarthy was responsible for the girl’s death, and argued that despite a heroin addiction McCarthy was a loving caretaker.

“He was very good with her. He called her ‘honey,’ ‘good girl,’” Shapiro said, according to the Globe. “When the little girl had nightmares about scary monsters, he taught her to battle them with love … and blow the heads off the monsters with love.”

The horrific story began in June of 2015, when the child’s body washed ashore at Deer Island in a trash bag. Since then, allegations have emerged that McCarthy, who had come to believe that the infant was “possessed by demons,” beat her to death.According to the defense, though, it was Bond who had become obsessed with demons before the child’s death. McCarthy and Bond allegedly kept the child’s disappearance secret until Bond alerted a friend, who told authorities.

In the months after that discovery, the state was peppered with billboards and fliers depicting a digital rendering of the child, who police could not identify. Media coverage was near-constant and garnered attention around the country and around the world.

Bond will testify against McCarthy, and in exchange is slated to be released from prison after the trial.