By Emily Hopkins
The mother of Bella Bond, the girl who captivated the nation last summer as the unidentified toddler “Baby Doe,” has pleaded not guilty in connection to additional charges connected to her daughter’s death.
At her arraignment in Suffolk County Superior Court on Wednesday, a judge ordered Rachelle Bond, 40, held on $1 million bail on charges of being an accessory after the fact to Bella Bond’s murder. A grand jury also indicted Bond on charges of larceny for allegedly continuing to accept public assistance benefits intended for Bella after her death, an amount that Assistant District Attorney David Deakin says came to about $1,400.
Deakin spared no details as he read the charges against Bond, describing everything from the class of the construction grade garbage bag that Bond’s codefendant Michael McCarthy allegedly used to store the child’s body, to the military-style duffel bag that was used to transport Bella to a remote area of South Boston, where he allegedly disposed of her body over a sea wall.
Deakin also said that the state would pursue charges based on Bond’s activity during the months following the girl’s death. He said that Bond had told police that she was held against her free will by McCarthy, who she said threatened her life should she go to the authorities. Deakin contended that text messages between Bond and McCarthy during this time suggested that they maintained a “domestic if not intimate relationship,” and that Bond was seen at a McCarthy family reunion in New Hampshire acting normally.
Bond’s attorney, Janice Bassil, took issue with the DA’s detail account, saying that it “poisoned” any potential for a fair trial. She also noted that while Bond may not have been physically restrained during the months following Bella’s death, that there are ways of “emotional and psychological control” that could be at play.
In court Wednesday, Bond wore a sweatshirt and kept her hair in front of her face during the arraignment.
Bella Bond’s body was found on Deer Island in Winthrop by a woman walking her dog on June 25, 2015. Though a photo reconstruction of the girl was broadcast nationally, she was only identified until September 18. She was two years old at the time of her death.
Deakin said that Bond told detectives that McCarthy had killed Bella late one night when the child refused to go to bed. Bond allegedly walked into the child’s bedroom to find McCarthy standing over her, waving his arms rapidly in the area of her stomach. She alleges that McCarthy then forbade her from contacting authorities.
McCarthy is expected to appear in court on Jan. 11. He is charged with the murder of Bella Bond.