Jurors in the Bella Bond murder trial got a first-hand look Thursday at the Deer Island shoreline where in June 2015 a dog walker discovered the body of the little girl known then only as "Baby Doe."
It was one of six stops on a court-organized viewing of several locations that are central to the testimony in the case against Michael McCarthy.
"The purpose of this view is to help better understand the evidence you have heard," Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders told jurors. "The attorneys will have a chance to point out to you certain things about which you're viewing and items to call to your attention."
McCarthy, 37, has denied killing Bella Bond, the daughter of his former girlfriend. The child's mother, Rachelle Bond, pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of the 2-year-old's body after he allegedly beat her to death.
In addition to Deer Island, jurors on Thursday were taken to Rachelle Bond's apartment in Dorchester, where McCarthy allegedly killed the girl in a back bedroom.
They stopped at the Reserve Channel in South Boston and were taken two by two down to the water's edge to see where prosecutors say McCarthy dumped the child's body. They were also taken inside a Quincy plumbing shop owned by McCarthy's dad, and a park near the Gillette plant.
On Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from a childhood friend of McCarthy who said the defendant believed he could drive demon's out of a person's home.
Michael Sprinsky, a friend of McCarthy who stayed with the couple, testified 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."
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.
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."
Sprinsky will continue his testimony on Friday.
Bella Bond was known for months only as "Baby Doe" as authorities struggled to identify her after her body washed up on Deer Island in Winthrop, Massachusetts. A composite image of the girl was shared by millions on social media.
Neighbor Yessiomara Torres testified Wednesday 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 trial is expected to last several weeks.