The murder trial of Michael P. McCarthy reached a key stage on Monday when both Suffolk prosecutors and the defense rested, setting the stage for closing arguments to be held on Tuesday.
Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders told jurors in the Suffolk Superior Court trial to be ready for “lengthy” closing arguments from both sides on Tuesday and to expect “lengthy” legal instructions from her before deliberations began.
McCarthy, 37, is on trial for in the murder of 2-year-old Bella Bond, the toddler whose remains washed ashore on Deer Island in 2015.
Earlier, McCarthy confirmed his decision not to take the stand in his own defense while answering a series of routine questions from Sanders, who is presiding over the first-degree murder case.
Defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro submitted a number of documents, including McCarthy’s records from a methadone clinic that showed on what days and times he received the medication in 2015, before resting the defense case.
Suffolk prosecutors called one rebuttal witness before ending their presentation of evidence.
McCarthy is the former boyfriend of Bella Bond’s mother, Rachelle Bond. He is accused of fatally beating Bella in June 2015 and dumping her body in Boston Harbor. When the 2-year-old’s body washed ashore on June 25, 2015, investigators dubbed her “Baby Doe” as they launched an international search for her identity.
McCarthy has pleaded not guilty, and defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro has told jurors that Rachelle Bond is the killer.
McCarthy’s decision not to take the stand means jurors will only hear his voice through a tape-recorded interview conducted with law enforcement in 2015. Portions of that interview with State Police were played by Suffolk prosecutors last week.
McCarthy was interviewed by Trooper Joel Balducci for 30 minutes.
“Now’s your chance to get out from under whatever you’re under,” Balducci told McCarthy in September 2015. Rachelle Bond was already talking to investigators, Balducci warned.
“I told you everything I know to the best of my recollection,” McCarthy insisted in the recording. “I’m giving my truthful side of the story.”
In the recording, McCarthy repeatedly denied hurting Bella Bond.
“Why would Rachelle tell us that you hurt her baby?” Balducci asked.
“Maybe to cover her own ass?” McCarthy asked.
McCarthy, 37, faces life imprisonment without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @globemcramer.