Irish nanny’s lawyer seeks more information in baby murder case
US Judge to rule on Aisling Brady McCarthy’s dismissal motion in coming weeks
A booking photo of Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy. Photograph: . Middlesex District Attorney’s Office/Handout/Reuters
A lawyer for the Irish nanny accused of the murder of a one-year-old girl in her care expressed frustration at “missing pieces” in information disclosures from prosecutors to help her fight the charges.
At a pre-trial hearing in a Massachusetts court, Melinda Thompson, attorney for nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy, sought further information from prosecutors ranging from data on the hard drive of a laptop used by the family of the child Rehma Sabir to details of the specific allegations against her client.
Ms Thompson complained that a grand jury, which indicted Ms Brady McCarthy for first-degree murder in April, had heard details of “potential shaking and a head injury” to baby Rehma Sabir but there was “no real description” of what allegedly had happened.
The nanny, 35, who is originally from Co Cavan but has been living in the Boston area for about 13 years, has pleaded not guilty to murder, assault and battery charges on the child who died in January.
Ms Brady McCarthy was minding Rehma in an apartment in Cambridge near Boston on January 14th, her first birthday, when she was hospitalised with severe head injuries. Rehma died two days later.
The nanny, who has been in custody since her arrest on January 21st, did not attend today’s hearing on information disclosures ahead of the trial, which is scheduled to start on April 7th.
Judge S Jane Haggerty said that she would make a decision on the defence’s motion to dismiss the charges, heard in August, in “the next couple of weeks.” She described the motion as “voluminous.”
She will hear arguments next Wednesday to decide whether the defence should have access to the Sabir family laptop, including details of internet searches carried out from January to the present day, after prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the family might wish to be heard on the issue.
The next pre-trial hearing will take place on December 17th.
The nanny’s lawyer has sought details of communications between prosecutors and the medical examiner’s officer to find out why an autopsy report was completed without an analysis of older bone fractures suffered by the child two days before the Irish woman was charged by the grand jury.
The judge urged Mr Fitzgerald, Middlesex County assistant district attorney, to push medical experts for the date when the final reports on Rehma’s prior bone fractures would be ready.
The defence maintains that fractures suffered by the child between two weeks and two months prior to her death when the Sabir family were travelling internationally are central to their case.
Ms Brady McCarthy’s lawyer is also seeking older photographs of the changing table in the Cambridge apartment near Boston where injuries to the baby are alleged to have taken place.
Ms Thompson said that were no police reports on statements and follow-up calls with Rehma’s parents and paternal grandparents who were in the family home on the day the baby was found unconscious, describing these as “glaring examples” of information the defence was missing.
She complained to the judge that the only time she was given updates from prosecutors was “when we come to court.”
Mr Fitzgerald said that prosecution had complied with many requests for information and objected to several new requests filed late on Monday on the grounds that they were “overly broad.”