A Burlington, Massachusetts, doctor charged with first degree murder in the 2014 death of a 6-month-old girl she was babysitting is speaking out, just one day after a Supreme Judicial Court Justice removed her from house arrest after new findings surfaced in the case.
"I'm still grieving over the death of the baby Ridhima, whom I dearly loved," said Dr. Pallavi Macharla. "I didn't do anything to hurt the baby, I would never, ever do that."
Macharla, a mother of two herself, was babysitting for Ridhima Dhekane in March 2014 in her Burlington apartment when the infant reportedly vomited and became unresponsive.
The baby later died at the hospital.
An entire year later, Dr. Macharla was charged in her death.
"The prosecution theory was that the infant had been violently shaken and also received blunt trauma to the head," said defense attorney J.W. Carney.
But Carney says he had the autopsy re-examined by Rhode Island's former chief medical examiner who determined Ridhima actually died of cardiac arrest.
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Just last month, the medical examiner who did Ridhima's original autopsy changed her determination.
"She submitted a new report saying she could no longer say that this case was a homicide," Carney said.
"I thank God for giving the knowledge and the wisdom to Dr. McDonald to change her opinion to show that I had nothing to do with the death of the baby in this case," said Macharla.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan released a statement saying in part, "The Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth remains firm that the baby’s cause of death is 'blunt force trauma and shaking injuries' and the manner of death is homicide. Under the circumstances, it is appropriate for a jury to decide this case."
This is the third time in the past two years that a medical examiner has changed his or her findings in a "shaken baby" death investigation in Middlesex County.
The other two times, the charges were dropped.