A Massachusetts man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after a jury found him guilty in the 2015 killing of his ex-girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter Bella Bond, known as “Baby Doe” after her remains washed up on the shores of a Boston Harbor island.
Michael P. McCarthy, 37, will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years under the sentence imposed for the killing of Bella Bond, the daughter of his former girlfriend Rachelle Bond, Boston 25 News reported.
On Monday, McCarthy was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Bella Bond by the Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston.
A prosecutor asked the judge to set McCarthy's parole eligibility at 25 years - 10 years more than the minimum. McCarthy's lawyer called that recommendation "vindictive."
The girl got worldwide attention after millions of people on social media shared a computer-generated image of her. Investigators trying to identify her called her "Baby Doe."
The widely shared image showed a chubby-cheeked, brown-eyed girl. Her body was found inside a trash bag on Deer Island in Winthrop on June 25, 2015, by a woman walking a dog.
Rachelle Bond pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of the girl's body.
She was scheduled to be sentenced by the Suffolk Superior Courthouse in Boston on Tuesday but it was delayed until July 12 because no beds were available at inpatient substance abuse treatment facilities in the area.
Bond and McCarthy were arrested in Sept. 2015 after Bond told a friend McCarthy had killed her daughter.
Prosecutors alleged that McCarthy murdered Bella because he thought she was possessed by evil spirits. He had allegedly been obsessed with the occult for years.
"He said it was her time to die, she was a demon," Bond said.
Bond testified that on the night Bella died, she walked into the girl's bedroom and saw McCarthy leaning over her and punching her. She said she saw McCarthy punch her in the abdomen so hard she bounced off the mattress.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.