Neelyville man charged with abusing his 2-year-old daughter

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Neelyville, Missouri, man was charged Friday with abusing his 2-year-old daughter, who is being treated for her injuries at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Thomas Leeroy Moore, 31, was charged with abuse or neglect of a child, according to Casenet, Missouri's online court reporting system.

In issuing a warrant for Moore's arrest, Associate Circuit Judge John Bloodworth set the man's bond at $250,000 cash only.

Moore is charged in connection with an investigation, which began Friday when Butler County deputy Nick Brasser made contact with Missouri Children's Division investigative supervisor Valerie Guffey and the toddler's mother, Misty Dawn Moore.

During an interview, Brasser wrote in his probable-cause statement, Moore alleged her husband, Thomas Moore, has beaten her 2-year-old daughter on numerous occasions since November.

"Mrs. Moore stated on [Wednesday] Thomas Moore beat [the toddler] with a belt and open hand, leaving several bruises and red marks all over her body."

According to Brasser's report, Misty Moore told him and investigator Tim Davis the most recent incident of alleged abuse happened while her daughter was sitting at the kitchen table eating.

"Mrs. Moore stated when Thomas came into the kitchen [the toddler] started watching him and stopped eating," Brasser said. "[She] stated Thomas started telling her to eat."

When the toddler did not eat, Misty Moore alleged her husband dumped the food on her, Brasser said.

"Mrs. Moore stated Thomas kept telling her to eat, and when she didn't, he got his belt and started hitting her," Brasser said. "[She] stated he raised the belt over his shoulders, then [brought] the belt down, hitting [the toddler] all over her body."

Misty Moore alleged her husband has been "really hard" on their daughter since he was laid off from work in November.

"[She] stated Thomas has been hitting [their daughter] with his belt or open hand at least once a week," Brasser said.

Misty Moore told the officers she tells her husband to stop, but "when she does, he threatens to kill her," Brasser said.

On one occasion, Brasser said, the woman reported her husband allegedly put a .22-caliber pistol "to her head in front of their 7-year-old child and told her he was just playing."

Brasser said he also contacted Thomas Moore on Friday at the sheriff's department, at which time he" denied all allegations or involvement in the abuse" of his daughter.


UPDATE:

The Daily American Republic filed the following story in 2017:

Abuse charge reduced, dad pleads guilty

By MICHELLE FRIEDRICH

Associate Editor

A former Neelyville, Mo., man who had been accused of abusing his then 2-year-old daughter pleaded guilty Tuesday for a misdemeanor endangerment charge.

Accompanied by his attorney Katie New with the Public Defender's Office, Thomas Leeroy Moore was to appear before Presiding Circuit Judge Michael Pritchett for a review of his case in which he was charged with two Class B felonies of child abuse.

Instead, Butler County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Paul Oesterreicher said, the 34-year-old pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child after the state filed an amended information with the court.

It alleged on May 14, 2014, Moore "acted with criminal negligence in a manner that created a substantial risk to the body and health of a child, less than 17 years old, by hitting said child."

After accepting Moore's plea, Pritchett sentenced him to 180 days in the Butler County jail and granted credit for all the time he already had served.

"He spent over six months in the county jail" while waiting trial, said Oesterreicher, who indicated Moore's plea and sentence were "agreed upon between the parties."

The outcome was "not the result I would have liked, but I had witness problems," Oesterreicher said.

Moore was supposed to stand trial on Oct. 4, but the state's "main witness did not show for trial," Oesterreicher said.

That witness was Moore's ex-wife, Misty Moore, who reportedly contacted Oesterreicher on Oct. 3 and told him she was out of state and would not be back for the trial.

Misty Moore, after having been granted immunity, testified at her then husband's preliminary hearing in 2014.

At that time, she alleged her husband had struck their daughter with an open hand and belt, leaving several bruises and red marks on her body.

The woman also accused him of dumping cold water on her, urinating on her, wiping her face with a dirty diaper, calling her names and telling her she should be dead instead of her twin brother, who died at 4 months old.

During the hearing, the woman also admitted to not seeking help for her daughter or telling anyone about the alleged abuse out of fear of her husband.

Also testifying during Moore's preliminary hearing was a Poplar Bluff pediatrician, who indicated the toddler had suffered what she classified as severe abuse.

The child, the doctor said, had what she described as multiple areas of bruising, as well as multiple areas that looked red.

The doctor further said "pattern bruising" was found on parts of the toddler's body, including linear lines, which crisscrossed her chest.

The doctor confirmed the toddler's injuries could have created a substantial risk of death due to the possibility of abdominal trauma, such as a lacerated liver or spleen. Blood clots also were possible, she said.

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