Anziani in court to face murder charge

Edgard Anziani, right,27, of Massachusetts looked towards the gallery of onlookers, including Cheryl Metzger and her supporters, as he was escorted from the the courtroom after making his initial appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center Friday morning March 12, 2010. He was extradited this week from Maryland following his arrest there. He is charged with beating and killing Cheryl Metzger's 15-month-old son, Damien Lynn at a Bangor apartment on February 23. (Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
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Edgard Anziani, right,27, of Massachusetts looked towards the gallery of onlookers, including Cheryl Metzger and her supporters, as he was escorted from the the courtroom after making his initial appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center Friday morning March 12, 2010. He was extradited this week from Maryland following his arrest there. He is charged with beating and killing Cheryl Metzger's 15-month-old son, Damien Lynn at a Bangor apartment on February 23. (Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
Posted March 12, 2010, at 9:55 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Accused child murderer Edgard Anziani made a brief court appearance Friday morning to formally face charges that he killed his girlfriend’s 15-month-old son last month.

The 27-year-old spoke only to answer two questions posed by Penobscot County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy: Did he understand the charges and did he understand that he could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted?

Anziani said he understood.

The accused man’s attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein, then requested that his client indefinitely postpone a bail hearing, a request that Justice Murphy granted. That means Anziani will be held without bail at Penobscot County Jail. He is expected to be indicted by a grand jury later this month and then arraigned on murder charges.

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“Mr. Anziani and I have a long journey ahead of us to determine how we’re going to best handle the situation,” Silverstein said outside the Penobscot Judicial Center after the hearing. “I know very little about the case so I will make no comment as to the substantive merits of any of the underlying information, except to say that we expect that this will be a difficult situation to get through.

“But it’s my intention to see that Mr. Anziani is treated fairly and with respect and dignity …”

Silverstein said he has been retained as counsel by his client’s family.

Anziani is suspected of murdering Damien Lynn, the son of Cheryl Metzger, inside the woman’s Bangor apartment on Feb. 23. Anziani was baby-sitting the child when he died and later told police that the child had fallen down the stairs.

The state medical examiner concluded that Damien’s injuries were not consistent with a fall and were caused by another person. Metzger was being treated at a local hospital at the time, which is why she asked Anziani to watch her child.

“Every night, I lay down and I think of what he did to my boy, and I can’t sleep,” Metzger told the Bangor Daily News last week. “I let him in my house. I trusted him.”

When Bangor police had enough evidence to arrest Anziani, he couldn’t be found. A federal warrant was issued, which enabled FBI officials to track the man to Maryland where he was taken into custody. Anziani returned to Bangor this week.

Metzger attended Friday’s court hearing surrounded by several friends and family members, but she declined to speak to the media. She wept when she first saw her former boyfriend. He looked in her direction only briefly before turning away.

“I want to extend my personal sympathies and condolences to Cheryl Metzger and her family for their loss,” Silverstein said after the hearing. “I can’t imagine what she’s going through. No amount of words can explain the grief that she must be suffering.”

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