The attorney for an Irish nanny accused of murdering a child in her care said it remains unclear whether the infant died from a genetic disorder or was killed by someone other than their client.
"We're still investigating," said Melinda Thompson, defense attorney for Aisling Brady McCarthy.
Ms Brady McCarthy is accused of killing toddler Rehma Sabir in her family’s apartment near Boston. The Co Cavan woman, who has been in jail since January 2013, has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Thompson said she was unsure what type of defence she will mount in the case against her client because defence experts have not yet had a chance to examine tissue samples taken from the child by a medical examiner and organs donated by the girl’s family following her death.
A medical examiner ruled the infant died of extensive head trauma as a result of being shaken, but an autopsy found that the child also had earlier bone fractures which occurred when she was not in Ms McCarthy’s care.
At a hearing, Ms Thompson said Ms McCarthy’s defense team is still awaiting lymphocytes from the child’s spleen, which were harvested by the New England Organ Bank after the one-year-old died, days after she was found unconscious in her crib.
At the time, Ms McCarthy allegedly told relatives who came to visit the infant that she was sleeping and should not be disturbed.
“Everything is open right now,” said Ms Thompson, referring to the cause of the infant’s death.
Ms McCarthy’s trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on April 22nd in Middlesex County Superior Court outside of Boston.
Ms Thompson said her client is eager to go to trial to prove her innocence. “She’s been accused of such a horrible thing,” said the defence attorney, “but she maintains her innocence.”
Ms McCarthy was not released to the custody of relatives while awaiting trial because prosecutors feared the nanny would be deported since she had been living in the United States illegally.