The date for the murder trial of Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy in the US has been postponed until January due to delays in obtaining evidence from prosecutors.
It is the second time the Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, Massachusetts has put forward the date for the trial, which was first postponed in March until October 14th for the same reason.
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.
Her defense team said they have not yet received crucial medical evidence that they claim could prove their client’s innocence. Attorneys for the 34-year-old defendant claim prosecutors have failed to turn over brain, bone and other medical samples taken from the Massachusetts infant who died on January 16th, 2013.
Prosecutors have also failed to release written reports compiled by their experts pertaining to those medical samples, the defense claims. Both the medical samples and expert reports are needed in order to build a solid defense in the case, Ms Brady McCarthy’s legal team said.
"We're (one week) from trial and we still don't have all the evidence. We've been waiting two years," attorney Melinda Thompson told the court.
Prosecutors contend they have handed over some medical samples requested by the defense but do not yet have written reports from their experts.
Upon learning of the delay in producing evidence, Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Maureen Hogan set January 20th, 2015 as the new trial date, giving Ms Brady McCarthy's legal team additional time to examine the evidence and prepare their own expert witnesses.
Ms Brady McCarthy, wearing a green shirt, black pants and with her long blond hair tied in a pony tail, looked straight ahead throughout the proceedings, showing no emotion, as family members looked on from the courtroom galley.
Prosecutors claim the nanny slammed Rehma against a wall and changing table, causing extensive head injuries, then laid the baby in her crib and pretended she was sleeping when relatives came to check on the child. The nanny’s defense team claims the prosecution ignored old injuries suffered by the infant, and the child’s history of illnesses.
Ms Brady McCarthy has been jailed on charges of first degree murder, and assault and battery on a child causing serious bodily injury, since her arrest five days after the infant’s death.
The child, who was to celebrate her first birthday days later, was found unresponsive in her crib on the afternoon of January 14th, 2013 and died at Children’s Hospital in Boston two days later.
David Meyers, co-counsel with Thompson, also asked the court to release Ms Brady McCarthy on an electronic bracelet while awaiting trial, but Judge Hogan said it is out of her court's jurisdiction to do that because the defendant is being held as an illegal immigrant by federal authorities.
Ms Brady McCarthy, of Quincy, Massachusetts but originally from Co Cavan, Ireland, had been in the United States illegally for 13 years when she was arrested for Rehma's murder. When family members arrived with $5,000 to bail her out after her arrest, prosecutors called immigration officials to request a detainer, defense attorneys said.