An Irish nanny accused of violently injuring and killing a baby in her care was indicted on a murder charge on Friday.
A Middle sex County grand jury also accused the nanny, Aisling Brady McCarthy, of assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury, authorities said. McCarthy was arrested in January after the death of Rehma Sabir, who was hospitalized with severe head injuries on her first birthday, Jan. 14, and died two days later. Rehma’s family lives in Cambridge, just outside Boston, and McCarthy, who is in the United States illegally, lives in nearby Quincy. McCarthy had previously pleaded not guilty to assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury. She was jailed on $500,000 bail while authorities, who said they expected to file a murder charge, awaited the baby’s autopsy results. Defense lawyer Melinda Thompson, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Friday after the murder indictment, had protested the high bail and said McCarthy was an innocent person sitting in jail. In February, a judge ruled in McCarthy’s favor when her lawyer asked for the preservation of all records related to the baby’s travel from June 2012 until she died. That included who traveled with the baby, where the baby stayed and whether medical personnel examined her. The lawyer also asked for a list of people who lived at or visited the baby’s home and for the family’s computer records.
The defense has claimed Rehma returned home malnourished after traveling overseas, including to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and London. State police said in court documents that a pillow, a blanket and baby wipes that were stained with blood were found in the baby’s bedroom. Authorities have accused McCarthy of “violently injuring” the baby, causing her death. Authorities also said a neighbor reported hearing the baby crying for nearly an hour on her birthday, followed by more intense crying, but knocks on the family’s door went unanswered. The baby’s parents, Nada Siddiqui and Sameer Sabir, told police McCarthy had been a nanny for their family for about six months. Immigration officials have said McCarthy is in the United States illegally after entering in 2002 from Ireland under a tourist program that allowed a 90-day stay. Court officials haven’t scheduled a new arraignment date for McCarthy.