A complete review of the medical evidence in the case against Boston Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy has been ordered by a judge who has also indicated she will give McCarthy bail if immigration authorities agree.
The Cavan native who overstayed her visa, was charged with killing one-year-old Rehma Sabir, the baby McCarthy had been looking after for almost six months. She has been held for two years and five months without bail.
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 dramatic development in the case occurred as Middlesex Superior Court Judge Maureen B. Hogan canceled the May 6 trial date indefinitely and ordered prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to check with immigration authorities if McCarthy could be released on bail and go home with a GPS bracelet.
Hogan was reacting to new evidence presented by nine medical experts for the defense taking issue with the original diagnosis that McCarthy had either shaken or beaten the baby to death.
McCarthy’s lawyer Melinda Thompson stated that all the experts agree “it was not a homicide.”
Hogan demanded that the Medical Examiner's office, which originally made the accusation against McCarthy, compile a complete “re-review” of the evidence based on the nine expert witness testimonies.
The experts also noted that Rehma was often sick and suffered bone fractures in her spine weeks before her death, when she was not in McCarthy’s care.
On Tuesday McCarthy’s lawyers thanked the Medical Examiner’s office for taking the highly unusual step of conducting the review.
“I think it’s in everyone’s interest to allow [the office] as much time as they need to perform a full reconsideration of the case,” David Meier, a lawyer for McCarthy told the Boston Globe.
McCarthy’s lawyers, Melinda Thompson and David Meier, had sent the new evidence on Good Friday to the court. They described their relief that the judge had apparently taken the new testimony very seriously.
“I was very impressed,” Thompson said last night. “The fact they’re doing this, I believe, is a courageous thing to do.”
According to the Boston Herald “the term “re-review” is another way of saying that the initial hyperbolic assessment of how Rehma Sabir allegedly died, by violent shaking and blunt force trauma at the hands of her caretaker, will now be examined in a more clinical light.”
It is known that the baby had several major health issues and had been travelling with her parents outside the country for weeks without McCarthy being present.
The “re-review” in the Irish nanny case was used in one previous case when Geoffrey Wilson was charged with the death of his six-month-old son, Nathan based on evidence by the same medical examiner whose evidence led to McCarthy's arrest.
Eventually it was ruled the baby had a genetic condition and died of natural causes.