BANGOR, Maine — A Lawrence, Mass., man accused of killing his former girlfriend’s 15-month-old son last year plans to plead guilty to manslaughter in a plea agreement that drops the murder charge against him, his defense attorney said.
Edgard B. Anziani, 28, was indicted in March of last year for murder and manslaughter in the Feb. 23, 2010, death of Damien Lynn, son of Cheryl Metzger, 22, of Bangor. He pleaded not guilty to both charges in April 2010.
Jeffrey Silverstein, Anziani’s Bangor attorney, said Friday that his client is scheduled to change his plea on April 15.
“My client is going to be pleading guilty to manslaughter and the state is going to dismiss the murder charge,” he said. “The court will be free to impose any sentence” allowable under the manslaughter statute.
Maine Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea on Monday confirmed there is a plea agreement, which could result in Anziani facing up to 30 years in prison, the maximum sentence for manslaughter in Maine.
After Anziani changes his plea, a sentencing date will be set, she said.
Silverstein said that while his client has agreed to change his plea, he could change his mind at any point up to the April 15 court date.
A trial date was never set for Anziani, who has been held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail for the last year pending the outcome of his case.
Anziani had been staying with Metzger on and off for about four months at her apartment at 55 Bald Mountain Drive and was caring for the toddler in the early morning hours of Feb. 23, 2010, while his mother was in the hospital being treated for abdominal pain, according to police and court documents.
The toddler was unresponsive and had broken bones, head injuries and a human bite mark on his right arm when rescue personnel responded to a 911 call just after 7 a.m. Feb. 23, 2010, at the Bald Mountain Drive residence.
Anziani, who had been alone with the child for several hours, met the ambulance and crew in the driveway and handed them the toddler, who “was blue and not breathing,” a police affidavit stated. The child was pronounced dead at Eastern Maine Medical Center an hour later.
Anziani told police, Metzger and her family that her son was injured when he fell down a flight of stairs at the apartment.
An autopsy done by Dr. Marguerite DeWitt of the State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the boy’s injuries “could not be explained by a simple fall down six or seven steps,” the affidavit said.
After receiving the autopsy report, Bangor police charged Anziani with murder on Feb. 25, 2010, but by then he had fled the area.
Anziani made it to Bladensburg, Md., before being caught by the FBI on March 1, 2010. Bangor police brought him back to Maine on March 10 to face the charges against him.
Metzger said in an interview a week after her son’s death that she met Anziani in November 2009 and had been dating him for about four months.
She said she went to Massachusetts to get Anziani on Feb. 22, 2010, and returned home at around 11:30 p.m. A couple of hours later, at around 2:30 a.m., she started having severe abdominal pain and went to the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor.
“My baby was sleeping, and I didn’t want to get him out of bed,” so she left him with Anziani, she said. “I beat myself up every day. I wish I never went to the hospital, that I never let him in my house.”
Only Anziani knows the details of what happened in the hours between when Metzger left the apartment and when the emergency 911 call was made at 7 a.m.
The boy’s father, Patrick Lynn, who lived in Georgia at the time his youngest son died, now lives in Orrington. Lynn and Metzger had two children together, and their oldest child, now 4, lives with his father. Attempts to reach him and Metzger were unsuccessful.
Even though police and FBI agents have been forthcoming with Metzger, she said last year that “I still don’t know the whole story.”
Metzger said what she does know is that her son — who was nicknamed “Dbug” — didn’t deserve what happened to him.
“I loved his laugh. I loved his smile and his gorgeous bright blue eyes,” she said. “He really was an angel.”