Melinda Thompson and David Meier obtained a major victory for their client, Aisling Brady McCarthy, by persuading the Massachusetts Office of the State Medical Examiner to take the highly unusual move of changing its findings on the cause of death of the child in Ms. McCarthy's care.
The medical examiner changed the cause of death from homicide by shaken baby syndrome to "undetermined," prompting the Middlesex District Attorney's office on Aug. 31 to dismiss the murder charge against Ms. McCarthy.
Prosecutors had alleged that Ms. McCarthy on Jan. 14, 2013, had caused massive brain injuries to one-year-old Rehma Sabir.
Mr. Meier and Ms. Thompson presented expert medical evidence challenging the medical examiner's determination of homicide by shaken baby syndrome, initially leading to Ms. McCarthy being released on bail in May 2015 after spending nearly 2½ years in jail awaiting trial, and causing the medical examiner's office to review its initial report.
In challenging the homicide finding, Mr. Meier and Ms. Thompson asserted that the infant suffered from a bleeding disorder and gastrointestinal problems, and that she sustained bone fractures weeks before her death, when she had no contact with Ms. McCarthy.
As reported by The Boston Globe, medical examiner Katherine Lindstrom wrote in her revised findings: “I believe that enough evidence has been presented to raise the possibility that the bleeding could have been related to an accidental injury in a child with a bleeding risk or possibly could have even been a result of an undefined natural disease.”
“Miss McCarthy was put in jail for 2½ years over a crime that never occurred,” said Ms. Thompson. “Not just a crime that she did not commit, but a crime that did not occur. The life of an innocent woman was ruined.”