Trial underway for Burlington doctor accused in infant death

WOBURN, MASS. (WHDH) - Five years after the tragic death of an infant in Burlington, a jury must decide if the incident was a case of shaken baby syndrome.

Pallavi Macharla, 45, shed tears in Middlesex Superior Court Monday as prosecutors accused her of killing 6-month-old Ridhima Dhekane while babysitting the baby at her Burlington home in March of 2014.

In her opening statement, prosecutor Katherine Folger suggested Macharla was frustrated by Ridhima’s crying and shook the baby so hard she died of shaken baby syndrome.

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

But Macharla’s attorney claimed the infant died after eating her mother’s homemade chunky applesauce, which he says made her vomit.

“She had vomited so much that some of it went on her hair, and some on her clothes” J.W. Carney Jr. said.

Several medical experts are expected to testify ion the trial, including the medical examiner who changed her opinion on why Ridhima died.

Carney says there is no outward evidence the baby was shaken violently.

“EMTs at the home who were working on Ridhima never saw any mark on her, any abrasion, any bruise, nothing,” he said.

The defense says Macharla will take the stand in her own defense.

Ridhima’s parents are expected to take the stand as well.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)