It is every parent’s nightmare and it harkens back to a similar high-profile homicide trial from years ago. That one was in Middlesex County as well.
This time it is Medford where dwelt a 34-year-old nanny, Aisling McCarthy Brady (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). Now, she stands accused of assault and is likely to see homicide charges herself. The proposed victim is a 1-year-old girl who was under her care. The girl has since died.
According to the Commonwealth, the Defendant attacked the baby on the baby’s first birthday early last week. The baby died two days later. Prosecutors allege that the baby suffered “massive brain swelling” as a result of being assaulted by the Defendant. The child was then rushed to Children’s Hospital Boston, where she was pronounced dead.
In court today at the Defendant’s arraignment, the Commonwealth described how it contends the baby’s injuries came about. It described the baby as a “healthy, normal, well-baby” who woke around 8 a.m. and was cared for by her mother and the Defendant.
The mother is said to have left the home around 9:30 a.m., leaving the infant in the sole care of the Defendant. The child napped from about 10 a.m. to about 1:15 p.m., the prosecutor said. At 4:42pm, the Defendant called 911 and asked for medical help.
“It is very clear the only person who had contact with this child at the time of the injuries [on Jan. 14] was the defendant,” argued the prosecutor.
Defense counsel, however, argued that there was more to the story. She argued that, in recent weeks, the baby had been traveling overseas which included stops in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. “Who knows what could have happened?” defense counsel argued. The defense went on to say that when the child returned to the United States, she was diagnosed as suffering from malnutrition.
The defense went on to argue that the Defendant was so close to the family, that she spent hours with them while the child was cared for at the hospital. When she was not with the family, the family constantly texted updates to her.
“She was mourning this child with the family,” counsel argued. “It didn’t happen, Your Honor, by [the Defendant’s] hand…There is more to the story than you’ve heard.”
Apparently, the Defendant had had two previous restraining orders taken out against her as well as assault charges which were dismissed. She has no criminal convictions in Massachusetts.
The Defendant was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail.
While an autopsy is still pending, the prosecution has admitted that doctors have already found evidence that the child had an existing fracture in her left arm and leg and that there were significant signs of prior injuries.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Infant Assaults And Murder
As you may have already heard, the Defendant is also facing accusations from the federal government. Namely, it is alleged that she is in the country illegally. We will leave that issue for another day.
When something tragic of this nature takes place, there is a rush to point the finger of accusation. In this case, the person on the hot seat is the Defendant. While many details have yet to be released, there are some questions that come to mind which ruffled my criminal defense feathers.
First of all, the Commonwealth describes this child, as she awoke in the morning as a “healthy, normal, well-baby”. And yet, it would appear that this young picture of physical wellness had very recently been found to be suffering from malnutrition. Not only that, but there is evidence of prior injuries.
This kind of strikes me as inconsistent.
While I question the use of such arguments as “Who knows what could have happened” when talking about trips to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, it is worth noting that this child is a little young for the trip.
It would appear that the Commonwealth bases much of its case on access to the child. This is not unusual. However, one would imagine that others also had access to the child. For example, the parents.
Then, of course, there is the question of the Defendant’s behavior prior to being accused. she is the one to call 911. she is with the family in the hospital. Clearly, the family trusts her as they kept her up to date with texts from the hospital.
The defense attorney is likely correct when she says that there is more to it. As to what that “more” could be and in which direction it points…that remains to be seen.
The defense lawyer in this case has an added responsibility. She is going to have to ward off the constant rush for a quick and simple solution which the media and populace will feel. It is a horrible case. I hope she is experienced with this sort of thing and is ready for it!
To read the original story upon this blog is based, please go http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/01/22/nanny-pleads-not-guilty-charges-she-caused-death-year-old-her-care/Qkf9gLQXUJ6TqkGIFfs2iI/story.html