A Massachusetts woman accused of helping dispose of her 2-year-old daughter's body entered a guilty plea Friday.
Rachelle Bond, 27, of Boston, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact in the 2015 killing of her daughter, Bella Bond, during a status hearing in Suffolk Superior Court. She also pleaded guilty to larceny over $250 for accepting public assistance after her daughter's death.
Bond's former boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, is charged with Bella Bond's murder. His trial is scheduled for April, but the judge said it will likely not happen before May.
The prosecutor recommended Friday that Bond get time served - 1-1/2 years - for testifying against McCarthy. She will also get two years probation for accepting public assistance after her daughter's death. The plea deal was accepted by the judge, who also revoked the $1 million bail on which Bond had been held.
Bond could have faced up to 17 years in prison if she had been convicted.
Her attorney said "she has wanted nothing more than to see Michael McCarthy convicted for the death of her daughter." The prosecution said her testimony will be important to his conviction.
Bond's sentencing was tentatively scheduled for May 22, but she won't be sentenced until after she provides testimony against McCarthy.
Bella Bond was dubbed "Baby Doe" after her body washed up on a Boston Harbor island in the summer of 2015. Her body was found in a trash bag by a dog walker, and it was months before detectives were able to identify her.
Rachelle Bond said in court Friday that she is currently taking medication for depression and anxiety. She began crying from the witness stand as the prosecutor described how her daughter was murdered.
The prosecutor said Bond "lied to several individuals" about Bella's condition and whereabouts. Rachelle Bond quietly repeated "yes, your honor" as the judge questioned her about the prosecution's version of events.
Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said, “McCarthy forced the defendant to accompany him to a remote area of South Boston where he tossed the girl’s body still wrapped in a garbage bag into Boston Harbor.”
But defense attorney Janice Bassil took it one step further.
Bassil said, “I do see her as a victim in this case.”
Defending that statement outside court, Bassil said Bond had nothing to do with her daughter’s murder and didn’t report it because she was repeatedly threatened by McCarthy.
Bassil said, “This is a woman who lost her child, this is a woman who was abused by a man and who repeatedly would not let her do the right thing.”
Prosecutors called Bond’s testimony against McCarthy “important” in getting his conviction.
“It’s more than justice,” said Bassil, “I don’t think she should ever have been charged.”
Judge Janet Sanders revoed Bond's $1 million bail.
Sentencing has been scheduled for May 22.