Jurors find doctor guilty of second-degree murder in Burlington shaken baby case

WOBURN, Mass. (AP/WHDH) — A Massachusetts woman has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of an infant in her care.

Pallavi Macharla was convicted Monday after about eight hours of jury deliberations over two days.

Prosecutors said the 44-year-old Macharla, a physician in her native India who ran a daycare out of her Burlington home, shook 6-month old Ridhima Dhekane in March 2014 so violently her brain bled.

During the trial, prosecutors suggested Macharla was frustrated by Ridhima’s crying and that she shook the baby to the point of death.

“She was repeatedly shaken,” prosecutor Katherine Folger told members of the jury. “Her brain was subjected to repeated acceleration and deceleration.”

The defense said the baby became unresponsive after vomiting on applesauce. Macharla took the stand in her own defense to describe how she heard the baby gurgle and saw her eyes close.

Prosecutors say Macharla changed her story and didn’t promptly call 911, instead calling the baby’s mother, and as a trained doctor she should have known better. The baby died at a hospital days later.

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