Massachusetts murder trial of Irish nanny postponed to April

Defence believes analysis of medical evidence could rebut shaken-baby theory

Aisling Brady McCarthy in court earlier this year. Photograph: Boston Globe/Getty Images

Aisling Brady McCarthy in court earlier this year. Photograph: Boston Globe/Getty Images

 

For the third time in two years, lawyers representing an Irish nanny accused of murdering an infant in her care have agreed to postpone her trial to give them time to test and analyse medical evidence in the case.

Aisling Brady McCarthy’s defence team told the court yesterday that a new trial date was needed because they are still awaiting at least 10 medical samples from the prosecution which could show exactly how the baby died.

“The testing by the defence experts is necessary,” said Middlesex County superior court judge Maureen Hogan, in setting April 22nd, 2015 as the new date in the murder trial. “I find continuance of the trial is warranted and serves the interest of justice.”

Melinda Thompson, Ms McCarthy’s defence attorney, said her client understood the delay was necessary in order to conduct tests on tissue samples taken from the child. The defence team believes the tests could prove the infant did not die from shaken baby syndrome, as the prosecution suggests.

“She wants the trial to happen as soon as possible,” Ms Thompson said of her client. “She wants to go home.”

Ms Thompson said her client was “sad” that she would remain in custody through the Christmas holiday but was “doing the best she can” given the circumstances.

Defence lawyers also requested that the court allow them to question two expert witnesses for the prosecution without the jury being present in order to determine whether they were influenced by comments made by the prosecutors.

Ms McCarthy has been in jail in Massachusetts since January 2013 following her arrest in the death of 12-month-old Rehma Sabir, who was found unconscious in her family’s Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment where Ms McCarthy was babysitting. Prosecutors contend that the child sustained massive brain injuries consistent with being shaken while in Ms McCarthy’s care.

Ms McCarthy was originally scheduled to go to trial on October 14th, 2014 but that trial date was rescheduled to January 20th, 2015 because Ms McCarthy’s defence lawyers had not received all of the evidence from prosecutors in the case.