Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Middlesex County DA Drops Murder Charges Against Irish Nanny

A woman who had been accused of murder in the death of a one year old child has had the charges against her dropped after spending over two years in jail. Aisling Brady McCarthy, an Irish nanny, had been arrested following the death of one year old Rehma Sabir of Cambridge in 2013. Initial reports indicated that Rehma had died from blunt-force head injuries believed to be the result of being shaken by her nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy. After reviewing additional information however, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of Rehma Sabir has concluded that they needed to amend the ruling on the cause of death in the matter.

According to new information being provided by the medical examiner’s office, the amended ruling for the official cause of death will now be listed as “complications of subdural hemorrhage of uncertain etiology” with the manner of death being corrected to “undetermined”. Following the altered assessment issued by the medical examiner, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has said that her office cannot meet their burden of proof for this matter and that the charges would be dropped. Aisling McCarthy had been facing a first-degree murder charge following the death of Rehma Sabir.

The medical examiner made the decision to amend their ruling based off of an additional review of materials amassed during the investigation into Rehma’s death two years ago. They indicated that based off of witness reports, police interviews, medical records, DCF reports, and laboratory testing, they decided to change their official ruling in the matter. According to reports, the examiner determined that Rehma possibly suffered from a pre-existing medical condition that could have left her more susceptible to sustaining injuries. Medical experts believe that Rehma’s medical disorder may not have been fully diagnosed prior to her devastating death due to her young age. They believe that symptoms Rehma displayed were similar to the guidelines used to diagnose von Willebrand disease, which could mean that Rehma was more prone to bleeding easily—even with a minor injury. The medical examiner stated that due to this, “I believe that enough evidence has been presented to raise the possibility that the bleeding could have been related to an accidental injury in a child with a bleeding risk or possibly could have even been a result of an undefined natural disease.”

Aisling Brady McCarthy has been in jail for the past two and a half years following the death of young Rehma, when the District Attorney’s Office deemed her responsible for causing the massive brain injuries Rehma later succumbed to. But McCarthy’s attorneys called for a review of the child’s autopsy and medical history, raising questions about whether or not a crime was actually committed when Rehma passed away. In May, those questions allowed for McCarthy to be released from prison on $15,000 bail with a GPS monitoring system—and they have now led to her complete and total freedom. And while Aisling Brady McCarthy may be facing deportation issues as she has overstayed her visa from Ireland during the entire ordeal, her attorneys agreed that arranging for McCarthy to return to Ireland was a much better outcome than arranging her jail sentence for murder.

Additional quotes and information may be found at the following links: http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/herald_bulldog/2015/08/da_drops_murder_case_vs_irish_nanny

http://www.wcvb.com/news/5-investigates-medical-examiner-reverses-ruling-in-irish-nanny-shaken-baby-case/35015262

http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/08/murder_counts_dropped_but_irish_nanny_aisling_mccarthy_could

 

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