Aisling Brady McCarthy

Irish nanny won't be prosecuted in Boston baby death case

Brady McCarthy had been released on bail while the finding was being reviewed.

Updated 10.45pm

THE CASE OF an Irish nanny accused of killing a baby in her care took a twist today when the State Medical Examiner reversed its ruling on how the child died – culminating in the state dropping its case against her as it could no longer meet the burden of proof.

The Boston Globe reported that the examiner said the death of Rehma Sabir, who was in the care of Aisling Brady McCarthy (37), was not a homicide caused by shaken baby syndrome.

The District Attorney then announced that the Commonwealth filed a nolle prosequi today in the case of McCarthy Brady.

She had been indicted on a murder charge in connection with the baby’s death.

Nolle prosequi is a legal phrase which means, from a legal standpoint, ‘do not prosecute’.

Today, District Attorney Marian Ryan said:

Based on an assessment of the present state of the evidence, including the amended ruling from the Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy, the Commonwealth cannot meet its burden of proof.

McCarthy Brady was provisionally released on $15,000 bail in May of this year. She was to be confined to her home and ordered to wear a GPS monitor and surrender her passport.

Her trial over the death of Rehma Sabir had been postponed as the State Medical Examiner’s Office was reviewing the finding over Sabir’s death.

Ryan told RTÉ News this evening that today’s developments mean the criminal case has ended and her office does not anticipate any other charges being brought against the Irish woman or anyone else.

She said it would now be up to the courts to make arrangements to have her GPS bracelet removed to restore her freedom.


The DA’s office said that on August 27 of this year, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office “was informed that the Medical Examiner who conducted the autopsy was issuing an amended ruling changing the cause and manner of death”.

The Medical Examiner has amended the cause of death on the death certificate to “complications of subdural hemorrhage of uncertain etiology” and has amended the manner of death to “undetermined.”

Brady McCarthy had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Medical Examiner had reviewed expert witness reports and medical records. In its ruling, the examiner stated:

These additional materials put forth several different and often conflicting opinions about the cause of Rehma’s death.  While I do not agree with all of the conclusions that are drawn by the various experts they do present a significant amount of additional information that was not available to me prior to reaching my original conclusion about the cause and manner of death in this case.
In particular the overall state of Rehma’s health and her past medical issues raise the possibility that she had some type of disorder that was not able to be completely diagnosed prior to her death.
Review of Rehma’s coagulation and hematology testing, her history of bruising, the NIH guidelines for diagnosis of von Willebrand disease, and literature on the subject suggest to me that Rehma’s low von Willebrand factor could have made her prone to easy bleeding with relatively minor trauma.
Given these uncertainties, I am no longer convinced that the subdural hemorrhage in this case could only have been caused by abusive/inflicted head trauma, and I can no longer rule the manner of death as a homicide.
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.
As such I am amending the cause and manner of death to reflect this uncertainty.

The Boston Globe reports that Brady McCarthy’s defence will file a motion to dismiss the case.

Brady McCarthy – who is originally from Cavan – had been living illegally in the USA since 2002. She had been caring for baby Rehma Sabir in her family’s Cambridge home.

Read: Irish nanny charged over baby’s death to be released on bail>

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