Aisling Brady McCarthy, the Co. Cavan nanny facing first-degree murder charges over the death of a one-year-old baby girl in her care, was denied an appeal for bail by Boston Superior Court judge Maureen Hogan on Wednesday.
Judge Hogan ruled that if released, the undocumented caretaker would be detained by federal immigration officials and possibly deported to Ireland.
McCarthy is currently on trial for the 2013 death of one-year-old Rehma Sabir, for whom she’d been a caretaker for six months in Cambridge, MA. Prosecutors say she assaulted the baby by violently shaking her, which resulted in fatal head trauma.
The judge set January 20 as the date for trial. McCarthy’s lawyers say she has no desire to leave the US – she pleaded not guilty to all charges, and wants to stand trial to answer the allegations against her. The Boston Globe reported that the trial is expected to last six weeks.
McCarthy, 34, has been in jail awaiting trial since she was arrested last January and is currently being held on a $500,000 bond.
One of her lawyers, David Meier, said McCarthy is willing to sign “any document” guaranteeing her January 20 return – she gave up her passport – and is willing to be under house arrest with a monitoring bracelet.
“It’s not like she’s going to disappear off the face of the earth,” Meier said. “She’s not going anywhere.”
However, Superior Court Judge Maureen Hogan said that because McCarthy has been living in the country illegally (well overstaying her 90-day visa), the immigration detainer lodged against her has made it impossible to guarantee her appearance in court.
Authorities say that baby Sabir was solely in McCarthy’s care when she sustained the massive brain injuries. Defense attorneys are questioning the diagnosis, however, arguing that the infant had suffered bone fractures several weeks prior, while not under McCarthy’s care. They said specialists did not consider other possibilities for the child’s cause of death.
Investigators found bloodstains on a blanket and pillow in Sabir’s crib, and child abuse specialist Dr. Alice Newton concluded that given the constellation of injuries on the baby, who doesn’t have a history of major trauma, there is no other explanation for her death aside from the head trauma. The prosecution medical expert reported the time of the abuse as three to four in the afternoon on January 14, 2013 when the infant was under McCarthy’s exclusive care.
McCarthy’s lawyers are also criticizing prosecutors for apparent delays in providing evidence to prove McCarthy guilty.
“It’s taken court date after court date just to get access,” her lawyer Melinda Thompson said. “It’s been medical evidence, it’s been everything.”
Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald denies Thompson’s allegations, however, saying that the defense has not been denied access to evidence and that their requests are what have contributed to the delay.
Fitzgerald added that the defense team hasn’t provided prosecutors with a “shred of discovery” either.