BURLINGTON, Mass. — A babysitter who police say killed a six-month-old baby while running unlicensed day care is on trial for murder.
On Monday, jurors heard from first responders and doctors who treated the girl, who the defense attorney says showed no physical signs of the deadly assault his client is charged with.
Pallavi Macharla cried while prosecutors gave a timeline of the events that led to the death of six-month-old Ridhima Dhekane in March 2014.
Investigators say Macharla - who was babysitting the infant for her neighbor - violently shook Ridhima, causing her to stop breathing. Prosecutors allege instead of calling 911, Macharla called Ridhima's mother who rushed to her Burlington apartment.
Prosecutors also said that Macharla, who was a doctor in her native country of India, should have recognized the immediate danger that Dhekane was in.
Ridhima was unresponsive and died a few days later, but Macharla's legal team told the jury Ridhima had no bruises or marks on her body and say instead, the baby stopped breathing after choking on applesauce made by her mother.
The defense also alleged that Macharla tried to save Dhekane by performing CPR. First responders also told the jury that they saw no obvious marks or bruises indicating a physical assault.
"Ridhima Dhekane was murdered with extreme cruelty by the very woman who was chosen to protect and care for her," said Assistant District Attorney Katharine Folger.
But defense attorney JW Carney says, "The vomit is what prevented Ridhima from breathing, it's as simple as that."
Carney says his client does plan to take the stand to testify. The trial is expected to last for about one month.
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