April 22 2019

Trial Underway for Burlington Woman Accused of Killing Infant Under Her Care

By: Rich Hosford

The trial of a Burlington woman who was charged with the killing of a 6-month-old girl who was under her care by shaking got underway on Monday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.  


Pallavi Macharli was in court on Monday to face accusations that she shook 6-month-old Ridhima Dhekane while babysitting her in 2014.


As reported on BNEWS, authorities say that on Thursday, March 27, 2014, Ridhima was left in the care of Macharla, a neighbor who regularly provided child care for the baby. It is alleged that at approximately 2:40 p.m, Macharla called the baby’s mother to say the baby was not breathing.

The mother drove to Macharla’s home and saw Macharla performing mouth-mouth respirations on her daughter who was limp and unresponsive. The mother immediately called 911.

The defendant reported that the baby became unresponsive after vomiting following a feeding. First responders arriving at the residence on Baron Park Lane in Burlington found the baby unresponsive, pulseless, and apneic. The child was transported by ambulance to Lahey Hospital and then to Boston Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead on March 30, 2014.


7 News Boston reports that in court on Monday prosecutor Katherine Folger suggested Macharla was frustrated by Ridhima’s crying and shook the baby so hard she died of shaken baby syndrome.


Macharla’s attorneys argued the infant died after eating applesauce prepared by her mother that caused the baby to vomit.


Multiple medical experts are expected to testify in the case, including Dr. Anna McDonald, who performed the autopsy on six-month-old Ridhima Dhekane and initially determined the baby died from abusive head trauma and excessive shaking but who later said she was no longer convinced the death was a homicide. In 2016 she said that after reviewing reports from the defense she said she came to believe the child died from cardiac arrest.


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