WOBURN — Attorneys for Aisling Brady McCarthy, who is accused of fatally beating a 1-year-old Cambridge girl in her care, insisted today that new medical evidence fundamentally undermines the prosecution case against the Irish nanny.
“This changes the case entirely,’’ Melinda Thompson, one of McCarthy’s defense attorneys, told Middlesex Superior Court Judge S. Jane Haggerty as McCarthy and some of her relatives looked on during a bail hearing today.
A medical expert hired by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office recently concluded that the child, Rehma Sabir, suffered serious injuries to her vertebrae while traveling with her family overseas in the weeks before Rehman was fatally injured on Jan. 14, 2013.
Thompson noted that McCarthy cared for the child when she was in Cambridge and did not have contact with the baby when she was overseas. “Someone else did that to this child,’’ Thompson said in court.
Citing the medical reports as a significant change in the case, Thompson asked Haggerty to set bail at $5,000 cash for McCarthy, who would agree to wear a GPS locator. McCarthy has been in custody since January 2013, and has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder now pending in Superior Court.
Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitizgerald urged the judge not to disturb McCarthy’s current bail status. Fitzgerald said the medical reports cited by the defense do not change the prosecution contention that Sabir suffered head injuries inflicted by McCarthy when she was alone with the child.
The preexisting injuries “are not directly alleged in the first-degree murder indictment,’’ Fitzgerald said in court. “It’s the head injuries.”
Haggerty took the bail request under advisement.
In court, Thompson criticized the prosecution for delays in the case and said lack of access to evidence was hurting her ability to prepare for trial, which is scheduled to begin this April.
“This woman is innocent and is sitting in jail,’’ Thompson said.
Even if granted bail in state court, McCarthy will not be released from custody. She is currently facing potential deportation to her native Ireland by the Department of Homeland Security for immigration violations.Peter Schworm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.