A friend of the man on trial for beating a 2-year-old girl to death testified Wednesday that the accused killer had an interest in the occult and spoke of ridding people of "demons" and "evil spirits."
The second day in the trial of 37-year-old Michael McCarthy, who is charged in the death of his former girlfriend’s daughter, followed a day of emotional testimony on Tuesday.
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 in June 2015. A composite image of the girl was shared by millions on social media.
McCarthy has denied killing the girl.
Michael Sprinsky, a friend of McCarthy who stayed with the couple, said the girl's mother, Rachelle Bond, told him how her daughter died. He testified Wednesday that McCarthy had an interest in the occult and "thought that he could remove demons from people's houses," and that McCarthy claimed he "had abilities to rid people of evil spirits."
"I've known Mike for a long time and he gets into these moods where there's a lot of dark stuff," Sprinksy said. "Talking about evil spirits, talking about demons."
Sprinsky admitted to having problems with drugs and using heroin and prescripition pills with McCarthy. He said McCarthy's dark mood is why he left the apartment and became homeless. After he returned, he said Rachelle Bond suddenly had "ignorance for the child's well-being," adding that it wasn't clear she had been fed. He recalled McCarthy asking "whether the child had demons in her."
On two occasions, Sprinsky said McCarthy locked Bella in a closet.
"Mike said he was disciplining her for something," he said.
McCarthy allegedly told Sprinsky he couldn't come over in April or May of 2015.
When he tried to bring milk over for Bella, McCarthy told him the fridge was broken, according to the testimony. Later, when he came over and the child wasn't there, the couple allegedly told him she was "with the sister."
Sprinsky said he was not aware of the "Baby Doe" case because he was using drugs at the time.
After Rachelle Bond allegedly told Sprinsky about the killing, he had a text exchange with McCarthy. Sprinsky read those texts aloud in court.
"Please say it ain't so, Mike, please, you know exactly what I'm talking about. She said you killed Bella," Sprinsky repeated in court. "He said, 'Wow, you listening to a cracked out hooker, DSS took Bella, that's what she told me.'"
Neighbor Yessiomara Torres testified that the last time she saw Bella Bond was around March of 2015. A couple months later, she says she spotted Rachelle Bond throwing the girl's toys and clothes in the garbage.
"I really only assumed that DCF took custody of her daughter, and that's why she was so fine," Torres said. "She didn't seem like something crazy happened."
The woman who found Bella Bond's body while walking her dog was among those who testified Tuesday, the first day of the trial.
Bonnie Flynn described to jurors the awful moment when she came upon a plastic bag washed ashore on Deer Island. She said she used a seashell to cut the bag open.
"I took a deep breath and I continued to cut," she said.
Through tears, Flynn explained that she ran for help when she saw what looked like a child's legs and a blanket inside.
Rachelle Bond pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of her body. She is expected to testify against him.
The defense has argued that it was Bond, and not McCarthy, who had an obsession with demons and spirituality. The defense added that Bond's testimony should not be believed because she had lied about her daughter's whereabouts after her death.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.