A US judge has set a date of October 13 for the murder trial of Boston nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy with hopes that a review of medical evidence will be released within the coming weeks. The Irish woman stands accused of the murder of one-year-old Rehma Sabir, a toddler in her care in 2013.
Last month, the state medical examiner’s office, who had originally determined that the toddler’s death was a homicide, ordered a complete review of the case’s medical evidence.
The unexpected twist came following the presentation of evidence from nine expert witnesses submitted by McCarthy’s defense team. All witnesses surmised that baby Rehma could not have died from injuries sustained through violent shaking and blunt force trauma at her Irish nanny’s hands.
As a result, Judge Maureen B. Hogan canceled the original trial date of May 6, and released the former nanny on bail after two years and five months in prison, while forcing her to surrender her passport and wear a GPS bracelet. The scheduled date for the trial means that McCarthy is set to spend the next six months under house arrest.
McCarthy, a native of Co. Cavan, was working as a nanny in Boston without a US work visa. She was charged with the murder one-year-old Rehma Sabir, the baby McCarthy had been looking after for almost six months.
Rehma Sabir was found unconscious in her crib and rushed to the hospital with head injuries on January 14, 2013. She died two days later on her first birthday.
The original medical report found that Rehma died from blunt-force head injuries — but also that the child had pre-existing bone fractures. The nanny has always claimed that Rehma died from injuries sustained on a family holiday while not in her care. Expert witnesses for the defense noted that Rehma was often sick and had suffered bone fractures in her spine weeks before her death when not with her nanny.
It is now believed that a new medical examiner’s report could be released within four to five week with a report possibly coming back as early as June 5.
The brief update on the trial took place yesterday morning at Middlesex Superior Court with McCarthy appearing for the first time without handcuffs. She was released on $15,000 bail two weeks ago.
Speaking to the press following the hearing, Melinda Thompson, defense lawyer for McCarthy, said that she was “hopeful” the nanny would be cleared of all charges.
“We want this to be done right for Aisling,” she said. “We’re going to let the medical examiner do their independent review. ... It’s impressive that they’re doing it, so, we’re hopeful.”
The defense team believes its case will take a week to a week and a half, while prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald told Judge Maureen Hogan that the prosecution expects to call up to 50 witnesses, lasting over three to four weeks.
If the trial does start on October 13 it is set to run until late November.