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Raymond man says police pressured him to speak about son's injuries

Union Leader Correspondent

September 20. 2013 8:03PM
Cavan Moore, 27, of Raymond listened to legal arguments Friday in Rockingham County Superior Court, where his lawyer sought to suppress statements he made to a police detective. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — Defense lawyers argued on Friday morning that statements made by a Raymond man charged with breaking the limbs of his 7-week-old son should be thrown out of court because he was pressured to speak with police without being read his rights.

Public defenders for Cavan Moore, 27, claimed that their client was in police custody once police Detective Richard Labell closed the door to a patient room at Exeter Hospital on Dec. 28.

"Not only does he want to interview him in the room, but in the room alone," Public Defender Larissa Kiers told Judge Kenneth McHugh on Friday in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Moore is charged with 14 counts of second-degree assault and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly injuring his son between Dec. 10 and Dec. 28. The boy's mother, Erica Moore, faces six misdemeanor counts of child endangerment.

Assistant County Attorney Katherine Crawford argued that Labell asked Moore to provide a written statement and made clear that Moore was free to leave at any time.

"The statements that were made were (offered) voluntarily by the defendant," Crawford said.

Labell testified that Moore told him that he may have "stepped on his son's ankle while playing video games."

Labell said the conversation with Moore remained friendly, and he left the room to let Moore write his statement. Labell testified that when he returned to the room, Moore "told me he may have sat on his son's ankle."

"And I told him that's not what you told me the first time," Labell testified. "I told him no that's not what you told me and he became somewhat defiant."

Public defenders are only seeking to have just Moore's verbal statements to police barred from being heard by a jury. Kiers repeatedly questioned Labell about why he chose not to record the interview.

Labell testified he was called from home to respond to the hospital, and wanted to make sure he could interview the parents before they left the hospital.

McHugh said he will consider the arguments made on Friday before issuing his decision. Moore is scheduled to go on trial Oct. 28.

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