Michael McCarthy, 35, stands accused of murdering his girlfriend's daughter, Bella Bond. But his attorney says after the amount of publicity this case has garnered since the child's remains were found on Deer Island back in June, he doesn't think his client can get a fair trial in Boston.
"I think that certainly has to be a consideration with a case where there has been such a great deal of publicity in the area," said attorney Jonathan Shapiro. "So far, it's been extremely prejudicial coverage."
Shapiro says part of that prejudicial coverage has been spurred by the prosecution's narrative of the case being based largely on what Bella's mother and McCarthy's girlfriend Rachelle Bond allegedly told investigators - pinning the murder solely on McCarthy.
"These are allegations made by one person who has a history of child abuse and a long criminal record - at least two of her children have been taken away by DCF," Shapiro said.
Meanwhile, the pressure is on to figure out what could have been done differently to identify Bella sooner, and whether there should have been more involvement with DCF.
"Through difficult budget cuts that agency was cut and I know they've never been fully funded back and I think we have to look at making an investment in the most vulnerable population in our commonwealth," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
"Several people have said that they had issues and concerns, friends, family, about the situation involving Bella for quite a while," said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. "I wish one of them had picked up the phone and called the department but that didn't happen."