SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 18, 2013

Nanny charged in baby's death seeks bail

WOBURN — An Irish nanny accused of killing a baby in her care asked a judge yesterday to grant her bail so she can be released from jail while awaiting trial.

Lawyers for Aisling Brady McCarthy argued that prosecutors have failed to turn over critical evidence they need to defend her against murder charges in the death of Rehma Sabir, who was hospitalized with severe head injuries on her first birthday in January and died two days later.

McCarthy’s lawyers argued that the case against her is weaker than prosecutors claimed after she was arrested. They cited notes of police interviews in which they say the baby’s mother appears to have said “no issues with nanny” when questioned the night she was rushed to the hospital.

Prosecutors say McCarthy, 35, “violently” injured the baby, whose family lived in Cambridge. McCarthy lived in nearby Quincy.

Judge S. Jane Haggerty said she expects to rule on the bail request today.

The judge also said she expects to rule by the end of the week on a defense request to dismiss the charges against McCarthy.

McCarthy’s lawyers argued that prosecutors presented “false and deceptive” information to a grand jury, including evidence about earlier bone fractures the girl had with no accompanying evidence linking the injuries to McCarthy.

Yesterday, the defense told the judge that prosecutors still have not turned over medical reports about the earlier fractures and other evidence vital to their defense of McCarthy.

“An innocent person sits in jail while we are begging for discovery,” attorney Melinda Thompson said.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said prosecutors have turned over more than 500 pages of notes from doctors at Children’s Hospital, where the baby was treated, and grand jury testimony, including that of a doctor on the earlier bone fractures. He said prosecutors are waiting for medical reports on the fractures from outside experts.

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