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Jurors allowed to hear Raymond man's statements to police in baby abuse case

Union Leader Correspondent

October 07. 2013 6:24PM
Cavan Moore, 27, of Raymond is headed to trial in December on 14 counts of second-degree assault in connection with breaking bones of his seven-week-old son. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)

BRENTWOOD — A judge has ruled that a jury will be allowed to hear the various statements a Raymond man made to police just before he was arrested for allegedly breaking the bones of his 7-week-old son.

Judge Kenneth McHugh said even though Raymond police did not read Cavan Moore, 27, his Miranda Rights prior to an interview at Exeter Hospital on Dec. 28, they made it clear he was free to break off the conversation and leave at any time.

Public defenders argued at a hearing last month that Raymond police Detective Richard Labell had essentially restrained Moore by closing a door to a hospital room during the interview.

Labell testified he closed the door for privacy, and told Moore that he was not under arrest.

McHugh agreed with prosecutors that Labell did nothing to restrain or coerce Moore who claimed he may have sat or stepped on his son by accident.

"The facts strongly suggest that Mr. Moore was not deprived of his freedom by Detective Labell in any significant way," McHugh said in a seven-page decision.

Moore is headed to trial the week of Dec. 16 in Rockingham County Superior Court.

He faces 14 counts of second-degree assault and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Moore's wife, Erica, also faces misdemeanor child endangerment charges.

Moore made no explicit admission about his son's injuries during the police interview, McHugh noted. But prosecutors and police suggest that Moore gave varying accounts about how his son was injured.

Moore agreed to give a written statement to Labell at the hospital.

Before he started to write, Moore allegedly said, "I may have stepped on my son's ankle when I was playing a video game," according to court testimony.

Labell testified that he left Moore in the hospital room for about 20 minutes to complete his written statement. Labell returned to find Moore with his wife.

Moore had then told Labell, "I may have sat on my son's ankle" before completing his written statement, a court order said.

Labell confronted Moore about the two different statements. Moore denied saying the earlier statement.

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