BANGOR, Maine — A local man who was arrested earlier this month in connection with the death of the infant he was caring for was indicted on a murder charge Wednesday by a Penobscot County grand jury.
Samuel T. Moore, 25, of Bangor was indicted on one count of depraved indifference murder and one count of manslaughter for allegedly inflicting injuries on March 3 that caused the death of 5-month-old Korbyn Garfield Antworth of Bangor two days later.
In addition to those charges Moore was indicted on one count of aggravated assault for allegedly choking Antworth’s 3½-year-old brother in the same March 3 incident.
Moore told police after his arrest that he was “tossing [the baby] around and at that point [the elder boy] struck him in the groin, he dropped [the baby] approximately 6 feet and he was not caught and did strike the floor,” Bangor Detective Brent Beaulieu wrote in the affidavit unsealed after Moore was indicted. “Moore said that he then choked [the elder boy] out of anger.”
The infant died March 5 at Eastern Maine Medical Center, a day after he was taken to the hospital. Moore was employed as a caregiver for the child, police said.
The cause of death is pending, awaiting further study, Mark Belserene, spokesman for the Maine medical examiner’s office, said Wednesday.
The 5-month-old suffered 11 rib fractures and had bleeding in his brain, according to the affidavit. The infant suffered injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
The 3½-year-old’s alleged assault was uncovered as Bangor police investigated the infant’s death, according to the affidavit. Moore told the boy’s mother that he had “ended up choking himself with a makeshift cape that he had tied around his neck himself.” The boy’s face was covered with petechiae, small red or purple spots on the body caused by a minor hemorrhage, according to the affidavit.
Moore first told police that he “had performed a wrestling move” on the boy that caused him to lose consciousness, the affidavit said. “Moore admitted that [the boy] was limp for 10 to 15 seconds and this had scared him.”
Superior Court Justice William Anderson on March 7, the date of Moore’s first court appearance, sealed the affidavit containing information about the investigation that led to Moore’s arrest until he could be indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury.
The boys’ parents are William and Brittany Antworth. Korbyn was born Sept. 18, 2013.
Moore’s arraignment date has not been set.
He has been held at the Penobscot County Jail since his arrest March 6 by Bangor police. He has been unable to post $100,000 cash bail set the next day by Anderson.
If convicted of murder, Moore faces between 25 years and life in prison. If convicted of manslaughter, he faces up to 30 years in prison. On the assault charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison
According to records the Bangor Daily News obtained earlier this month from the State Bureau of Investigation, Moore’s criminal history in Maine dates to 2001, when he was a juvenile.
As an adult, he was ordered in 2006 to serve five days in jail and pay $57.32 in restitution for aggravated criminal mischief. In 2007, he was found guilty of felony burglary and felony theft, for which he received a 10-month jail sentence and one year of probation.
Moore’s most serious conviction to date came in February 2008, when he was found guilty of arson, a Class A felony. He was sentenced to five years in prison with all but nine months suspended followed by four years of probation and ordered to pay $6,779 in restitution. He also was convicted of misdemeanor drug possession, violating bail conditions and criminal trespass, according to the criminal history.
His probation on the arson charge was revoked in May 2009, and he was sentenced to two years in prison with probation to continue, according to court documents.
The arson charge stemmed from a fire at an Orono apartment house on Oct. 14, 2007. The fire began in a storage area in the basement where several mattresses were stored, according to court documents. Moore admitted to police that he set fire to one mattress in an attempt to hurt himself by inhaling the smoke.
As of Feb. 14, 2014, Moore owed $6,369 in restitution and $690 in probation supervision fees, according to a violation review form filed by his probation officer.
“Mr. Moore reports he starts a new job on Monday, [Feb. 17, 2014] and also plans to use his income to catch up on his payments,” the document states.
It could not be determined on March 7 whether the new job referred to in the review form was caring for Korbyn Antworth.
BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.
An earlier version of the story named the 3 1/2-year old boy. His name has since been removed to protect his privacy.