MATEWAN -A young father, Albert Matthew Moore, 21, of Matewan, was arrested and arraigned on Friday afternoon on charges of child abuse and neglect resulting in the death of his two month-old infant daughter that occurred on Nov. 4.
According to Matewan Police Chief P.A. Mounts and Mingo County Chief Field Deputy Joe Smith, who investigated the death, the mother of the baby made a frantic call to Mingo County 911 at approximately 3 p.m. on Monday, saying she had discovered her daughter in bed with the father - completely covered with a comforter. She was reportedly not breathing and was bleeding from her nose.
A contractor who was doing repairs in the apartment complex the couple reside in at Warm Hollow heard the cry for help, and attempted to perform CPR on the unresponsive infant until Chief Mounts arrived on scene. STAT Ambulance arrived on scene a few short minutes after the chief and transported the baby girl to the Williamson Memorial Hospital. All attempts to revive the infant were in vain.
After the infant was pronounced dead, the officers questioned the parents about the occurrences that led to the death.
The mother stated that she had bathed her daughter and placed her in the bassinet that was located in the bedroom where the couple sleep. She went to check on the infant a short time later and was shocked when she discovered the bassinet empty. She went to the bed where Moore was sleeping and threw back the comforter and discovered her young daughter, unresponsive and bleeding from her nose. She had difficulty arousing Moore, who later admitted to the police that he had smoked crack cocaine, marijuana and had taken a 1 Roxycodone 30 mg tablet before the tragedy occurred. He eventually awakened to the screaming of girlfriend. Chief Mounts told the Williamson Daily News that Moore is no stranger to trouble, and has a history of drug abuse.
While at the hospital, the defendant and the baby’s mother were asked to submit to a drug toxicology screen, which they agreed to do. The results of these tests are still pending.
Mounts also stated that according to information he had received, CPS workers with the Williamson office of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources had previously removed the infant from the home after it’s birth, as well as a 19 month-old sibling, and the parents had regained guardianship approximately 1 month ago.
Chief Field Deputy Smith stated that he and CPS workers had returned to the apartment and recreated the scene, and conducted an in-depth investigation. After all the facts were gathered, the decision was made to charge the father with the crime. Smith said that the mother was very cooperative in assisting him with information, and felt she was forthcoming with the facts surrounding the case.
“Once we get the drug screens back, we will make decisions as to whether any other charges will be filed in this case,” stated Mounts.
“I haven’t been able to close my eyes in sleep without seeing that baby girl’s lifeless body,” said the chief, speaking of being first on scene and performed CPR on the two month-old. A father himself, Mounts spoke of how the death of a child can haunt you for a very long time.
“Nothing is worse than the loss of an innocent baby at the hands of another. It’s a senseless crime that should never happen.”
Moore showed little emotion during his arraignment hearing before Mingo Magistrate Pam Newsome, who remanded the defendant to the custody of the Southwestern Jail at Holden on a $50,000 full-cash bond. Unless he manages to make bond, Moore will be back in magistrate court within the next 10 days for a preliminary hearing.
Additional information on this case will be released to the public as it becomes available.