BOSTON -- (WBZ) -- The man found guilty in the murder of 2-year-old Bella Bond was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 20 years in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday morning.
Michael McCarthy was convicted Monday of second-degree murder in the little girl’s death.
Judge Janet Sanders extended the years of parole eligibility from 15 to 20, though prosecutors requested 25 years.
He will serve his life sentence at Cedar Junction Correctional Facility in Walpole.
After a 15-day trial, it took the jury of eight men and four women a little over 23 hours over the course of five days to convict McCarthy.
Prosecutors said McCarthy killed Bella because he thought she was a “demon.” The defense claimed the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, was the one who held bizarre occult beliefs and killed her daughter.
Bond and McCarthy were arrested in September 2015, three months after Bella Bond’s body washed ashore on Deer Island.
A computer-generated image of the girl was shared by millions on social media by authorities trying to determine her identity.
Rachelle Bond, the prosecution’s star witness, said in her testimony that she saw McCarthy kill her daughter. She pleaded guilty to helping him dispose of her body.
She is due to be sentenced to time served on July 12, and will enter rehab upon her release.
Defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro ripped into Rachelle Bond’s testimony during the sentencing proceedings.
“We’re left not knowing what happened because what she said was clearly a lie,” he said.
He was adamant that justice was not donein the case, and called Judge Sanders “biased from start to finish.”
He also called prosecutor David Deakin “vindictive…disingenuous, and cynical,” for which District Attorney Dan Conley said he “went a bit off the rails” and should be ashamed of himself.
Bella’s biological father, Joseph Amoroso, gave a victim impact statement before McCarthy was sentenced.
“Bella was a gift from God whose life was cut short at such a young age,” he told the court.
Amoroso testified during the trial that he never met his daughter.
“I was robbed of my chance to be a father to Bella, no verdict changes that,” he said.
Outside court, Amoroso told reporters he was happy McCarthy got life in prison, and that he had believed from the beginning that McCarthy was guilty.