BOSTON -- (WBZ) -- Michael McCarthy has been convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 2-year-old Bella Bond.
McCarthy gave no visible reaction in court as the decision was announced Monday morning. He now faces mandatory life in prison, with a chance for parole in 15 years.
Bella Bond’s godmother told reporters outside court how she felt after the verdict was reached.
“Justice for Bella,” she said. “Finally justice for Bella.”
McCarthy was facing a first-degree murder charge in Bella’s death. Jurors could also have opted to convict him of involuntary manslaughter or find him not guilty of any of those charges.
Prosecutors said McCarthy killed Bella because he thought she was a “demon,” but the defense said the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, was the one who held bizarre occult beliefs and killed her daughter.
A jury of eight men and four women deliberated for just over 23 hours over five days.
Over the course of the trial, 169 pieces of evidence were introduced, and 34 witnesses testified.
The trial lasted for 15 days.
Veteran defense attorney Phil Tracy speculated to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens on what might have taken this jury such a long time to make a decision.
“There were a lot of witnesses in this case, and a lot of exhibits,” Tracy said. “A thorough jury, if they follow the judge’s instructions, are going to painstakingly go through all of that discussion about what the witness said, what the veracity, credibility of the witness was, and the exhibits.”
Tracy added that he found it interesting that jurors didn’t present a single question to Judge Janet Sanders during deliberation.