Boston man found guilty of second-degree murder in 'Baby Doe' case

BOSTON, June 26 (Reuters) - A jury on Monday found a Boston man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2015 killing of a Massachusetts toddler, whose body washed up on a beach and prompted a months-long search for the identity of "Baby Doe."

Michael McCarthy, 37, escaped conviction on the more serious charge of first-degree murder for allegedly punching 2-1/2-year-old Bella Bond to death in the apartment he shared with his former girlfriend, Rachelle Bond, and dumping her plastic-wrapped body in Massachusetts Bay.

Second-degree murder carriers a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years in Massachusetts.

A woman walking her dog discovered the child's decomposing remains in a plastic bag on a beach in June 2015. Investigators trying to identify the child launched a billboard campaign featuring an artist's depiction of what she might have looked like in life with the headline "Did you know me? Please ... tell the police my name."

RELATED: Massachusetts 'Baby Doe' case: Bella Bond

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Massachusetts 'Baby Doe' case: Bella Bond
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Massachusetts 'Baby Doe' case: Bella Bond
(Photo: Massachusetts State Police)
A combination photo shows Michael Patrick McCarthy (R) and Rachelle Bond, 40, mother of the 2-1/2-year-old girl Bella Bond, in this Suffolk County District Attorney's Office photo released on September 18, 2015. Massachusetts officials believe that the 2-1/2-year-old girl whose remains were found on a Boston Harbor beach three months ago was murdered and on Friday arrested her mother and her mother's 35-year-old boyfriend, a county prosecutor said. REUTERS/Suffolk County District Attorney's Office/Handout FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley briefs the media on developments in the Baby Doe case and arrests of her mother Rachelle Bond and her mother's boyfriend Michael McCarthy in DA Conley's Law Library in Boston on Sept. 18, 2015. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

On September 17, 2015, Baby Doe was identified as Bella Bond.

(Photo: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

BOSTON, MA - MAY 22: Defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro, right, introduces Michael McCarthy to potential jurors. From left are BC Law student intern Michael Patnode and co-counsel Mia Teitelbaum. Jury selection begins for Commonwealth vs. Michael McCarthy in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on May 22, 2017. McCarthy is charged with the murder of 2-year-old Bella Bond. Judge Janet Sanders presides. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Rachelle Dee Bond was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. Michael Patrick McCarthy was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo: Massachusetts State Police)
WINTHROP, MA - NOVEMBER 28: A funeral and burial service was held for Bella Bond, the toddler who became know as Baby Doe after her body was discovered in a trash bag in June on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass. on Nov. 28, 2015. Joseph Amoroso, the child's biological father, wept as he threw a good-bye kiss to the coffin which was draped in a hand-made quilt adorned with sayings. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 4: Winthrop Detectives Timothy Callinan, far right, and Wayne Carter knock on doors following up on a tip that a child was seen in a nearby park who matched the Baby Doe description. They speak with Andrea Mesa and her four year old son Anthony in Winthrop, Mass., on Aug. 4, 2015. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Megan Fewtrell, godmother of Bella Bond, clutches 'Ducky,' Bella's favorite stuffed animal that was kept at Fewtrell's home. She waits for the proceedings to start. Michael Patrick McCarthy was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. Rachelle Dee Bond was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Joseph Amoroso, biological father of Bella Bond, speaks to the media after the arraignment. Michael Patrick McCarthy was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. Rachelle Dee Bond was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Rachelle Dee Bond was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. Michael Patrick McCarthy (not shown) was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - NOVEMBER 28: A funeral and burial service was held for Bella Bond, the toddler who became know as Baby Doe after her body was discovered in a trash bag in June on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass. on Nov. 28, 2015. Joseph Amoroso, the child's biological father, wept as he held a pink rose from the coffin, which was draped in a hand-made quilt adorned with sayings. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Rachelle Dee Bond was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. Michael Patrick McCarthy was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: MWRA officials and employees bow their heads in a moment of silence for Baby Doe during a small ceremony honoring the memory of the girl known as Baby Doe at the site where her body was found last month on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass., on Sept. 18, 2015. They had planned this small dedication ceremony before they knew the identity of the girl was found earlier in the day. They raised money and bought a bench, a tree, and a statue of a baby deer. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Megan Fewtrell, godmother of Bella Bond, clutches 'Ducky,' Bella's favorite stuffed animal that was kept at Fewtrell's home. She sits with an unidentified man and later stormed out of the courtroom while shouting at the defendants. Michael Patrick McCarthy was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. Rachelle Dee Bond was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: A memorial at the site where Baby Doe was found last month on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Left to right, Frederick Laskey, Ria Convery and Susan M. Brazil absorb the news of learning the identity of Baby Doe near the spot where she was found last month on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass., on Sept. 18, 2015. MWRA officials and employees had prepared for a small ceremony honoring the memory of the girl known as Baby Doe at the site where her body was found before they knew the identity was found earlier in the day. They raised money and bought a bench, a tree, and a statue of a baby deer. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Winthrop resident Renee O'Brien came to see the small memorial planned by the MWRA honoring the memory of the girl known as Baby Doe at the site where her body was found last month on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass., on Sept. 18, 2015. They had planned a small dedication ceremony before they knew the identity of the girl was found earlier in the day. They raised money and bought a bench, a tree, and a statue of a baby deer. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Frederick Laskey of the MWRA reacts to learning the identity of Baby Doe near the spot where she was found last month on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass., on Sept. 18, 2015. MWRA officials and employees had prepared for a small ceremony honoring the memory of the girl known as Baby Doe at the site where her body was found before they knew the identity was found earlier in the day. They raised money and bought a bench, a tree, and a statue of a baby deer. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: Lorraine Noel tends to the memorial at the site where Baby Doe was found at Deer Island in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. Noel is a coordinator of Justice for Baby Doe, earlier in the day the group gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: Volunteers Jeannie Spinazola, left, and her daughter Jillian Ashley Grimes pickup fliers at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. Members of Justice for Baby Doe gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: Mike Rapaglia posts a flier on the rectory door at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. Members of Justice for Baby Doe gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: An image of Baby Doe is surrounded by gifts at the memorial at the site where the girl was found at Deer Island in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. Earlier members of Justice for Baby Doe gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - NOVEMBER 28: A funeral and burial service was held for Bella Bond, the toddler who became know as Baby Doe after her body was discovered in a trash bag in June on Deer Island in Winthrop, Mass. on Nov. 28, 2015. The casket was lowered into the ground at Winthrop Cemetery. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: Debbie Larson and Lorraine Noel visit the memorial at the site where Baby Doe was found at Deer Island in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. The women are the coordinators of Justice for Baby Doe. Earlier in the day the group gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 21: Michael Patrick McCarthy was arraigned in the death of Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond in Dorchester District Court, on Monday, September 21, 2015. Rachelle Dee Bond (not shown) was arraigned for acting after the fact in helping to dispose of the body of her daughter, who was known for a while as Baby Doe. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: Coordinator Debbie Larson, left, talks with volunteer Jeannie Spinazola at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. Members of Justice for Baby Doe gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - AUGUST 20: Volunteer Wayne Davidson picks up fliers and information at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop, MA on August 20, 2015. Members of Justice for Baby Doe gathered at Saint John the Evangelist Parish where they hope to build a source of local volunteers to help identify the young girl by posting fliers throughout the Boston metro area. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
SUDBURY, MA - JULY 31: A trooper brought body samples to the State Police Crime Laboratory in Sudbury, Mass., on July 31, 2015. They will then be sending it to a private lab in Utah where they will conduct isotope analysis to see what water she's been drinking, which they can match to different geographic areas in the US. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - JULY 31: People have brought toys, dolls, flowers, stuffed animals to a shrine above the spot on the beach on Deer Island in Winthrop where Baby Doe was found. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - JULY 31: Massachusetts State Trooper Daniel Herman, lead investigator of the Baby Doe case, stands at the rocky beach where Baby Doe's body was discovered on Deer Island in Winthrop on July 31, 2015. He has returned to the site multiple times for investigative reasons. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WINTHROP, MA - JULY 25: A memorial for Baby Doe where the unidentified young girl's body was found last month on Deer Island in Winthop, Mass., on Saturday, July 25, 2015. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 17: Rachelle Bond appears in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston for pre-trial motions before Judge Christine Roach on Jan. 17, 2017. Bond faces charges in the death of her daughter Bella Bond, formerly known as Baby Doe, a 2-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island in 2015. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 17: Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine Roach hears motions in the case of Rachelle Bond in Boston on Jan. 17, 2017. Bond faces charges in the death of her daughter Bella Bond, formerly known as Baby Doe, a 2-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island in 2015. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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McCarthy did not testify during his trial, but Bond took the stand for several days, saying that she saw her ex-boyfriend fatally punch the girl in the stomach one night as they were trying to put her to bed. Bond, 41, said that she never reported the killing out of fear that McCarthy would kill her.

Defense lawyer Jonathan Shapiro attacked Bond's credibility in his closing arguments, saying she had killed the child and lied about it to shift blame to McCarthy, who he said did not learn about the child's death until police accused him of the killing four months later.

Bond had lied to friends and neighbors about the girls' whereabouts, telling some that she had been taken by the state, according to witness testimony.

Shapiro recounted a story in which McCarthy had told the girl that she did not need to fear the monsters in her imagination, adding, "in the end, the monster came for that little girl and it was her mother."

SEE ALSO: Massachusetts man who allegedly killed his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter says the girl was a demon

Prosecutors stood by Bond's testimony, saying that McCarthy killed the girl and dumped her body in a canal leading to Massachusetts Bay. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin noted that one of McCarthy's best friends had testified that he warned Bond to be wary of her boyfriend.

"He said, 'You have to get away from him. He's crazy,'" Deakin said.

Bond pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory to murder after the fact and testified under a plea deal with prosecutors. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Tom Brown)

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