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Clinton man charged with child abuse; girl critically injured

Posted January 21, 2011

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— A 3-year-old Clinton girl was in critical condition Friday, and her mother's acquaintance was behind bars, accused of child abuse. 

Sampson County sheriff's officials arrested John Troy Moore, 21, of 1296 Parker Memorial Road, after questioning him about the girl's injuries, which happened on Wednesday. 

The child's name was not released. She suffered "life-threatening traumatic brain injuries, in addition to other bodily injuries consistent with child abuse," according to the sheriff's office. 

Moore was watching the girl Wednesday at her house, 1296 Parker Memorial Road, while her mother, Marybeth Johnson, worked, investigators said. He called Johnson and said the the girl "was sick," so Johnson came home, and they took the 3-year-old to Clinton Medical Clinic.

Doctors transferred her to Sampson Regional Medical Center "due to the seriousness of her condition," investigators said. She was then transferred to UNC Hospitals, where she was in critical condition Friday. 

Sheriff's officials interviewed Moore and Johnson and notified the county Department of Social Services.

Moore was then charged with child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, which is a felony. He was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond. Additional charges might be filed, investigators said. 

"I realize that many citizens may have additional questions about the case or questions regarding charges," Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said in a statement. "I ask that they be patient and allow investigators to continue their work. I can assure you that we will do everything to ensure that the incident is investigated fully.”

Thornton called the incident "very tragic" and asked the public to "keep the little girl and other children who are victims of child abuse in their thoughts and prayers."

81 Comments

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  • erderr4533 Jan 24, 2011

    ok yeah so i'd just like to ask everyone on here----where in the article does it say "the mom hardly knew the guy"? just bc somebody is an 'acquaintance' doesn't mean you just met them....i've got plenty of acquaintances that i've known for yrs

  • fayelcox Jan 21, 2011

    as a parent, grand parent and a great grand mother,I have been very fortunate so far. I have never had to go through anything like a lot of other parents do. My prayer is God give them strength to get through this, and I pray if the mother had any idea her boyfriend was anything as he has turned out to be, let her be punished for her part. I pray she had no idea at all.
    May God touch this child and heal her. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  • familyfour Jan 21, 2011

    I'm not defending the mom. My original comment didn't make posting. I hold her completely responsible.

    We are responsible for our children. We put them in situations. We make those decisions. When something goes wrong, it's on us. Maybe poor judge of character, or out of desperation, or a slew of other reasons people make bad calls, but at the end of the day the PARENT is responsible for the CHILD.

    I would NEVER leave my young daughter with a man of that age, unless he were her blood father. Trusting acquaintances, friends, boyfriends, etc is another whole bowl of worms. You don't know what people are capable of....and I certainly wouldn't put my child in the line of fire to find out. People say everyone can't afford day care. Well...you do what you have to to keep your children safe, and I have always been able to provide proper care, flat broke, or not, and never had to leave my children with anyone - NO ONE but a loving grandmother who wanted a visit. ~BE RESPONSIBLE~

  • cabswife Jan 21, 2011

    same old story, breaks my heart everytime.when are these women going to wake up and stop leaving their children with men they hardly know? Wishing a speedy recovery, and justice, for the little girl.

  • miss Q B Jan 21, 2011

    this breaks my heart

  • livinglife Jan 21, 2011

    I think this is a horrible situation however, everyone is blaming the guy and defending the mother. How do you know she wasn't involved? The story claimed "she suffered"life-threatening traumatic brain injuries, in addition to other bodily injuries consistent with child abuse,"" That "other child abuse" could have come from her mother. I'm not defending him in any way but I'm not going to make mom out to be some helpless angel either, no one truly knows what happens inside someone else's house. I just hope this little girl recovers without permanent damage.

  • erderr4533 Jan 21, 2011

    How do any of you know what type of man he is? I'm NOT defending him, but I get tired of people always saying what a person should or shouldn't do. I guess each one of you have walked in every one elses shoes to judge the mother. This dude "could" have been the best boyfriend, and snapped. We don't know. The mother was at least trying to take care of her child by going to work instead of depending on the government. If the man never showed any type of "tendencies" how was she suppose to know. Also, we don't know her situation. Not every one can afford daycares etc. Hoping for the best for recovery...
    Dale

    nice to see some people have some sense every now and then

  • familyfour Jan 21, 2011

    Oh, wildcat...please also explain why you would attack me, rather than acknowledge the fact that a two time sex offender on a playground going for number three doesn't deserve to be shot, please.

  • familyfour Jan 21, 2011

    GOD SEES ALL AND KNOWS ALL AND HANDLES ALL!

    HE DOES AND WILL.
    wildcat
    January 21, 2011 2:04 p.m.
    Ignore Report abuse

    These words from one who posted "BAM BAM BAM, I shot you how do you feel" on my profile.

    You only wear your faith when it is convenient?

  • Dale Jan 21, 2011

    How do any of you know what type of man he is? I'm NOT defending him, but I get tired of people always saying what a person should or shouldn't do. I guess each one of you have walked in every one elses shoes to judge the mother. This dude "could" have been the best boyfriend, and snapped. We don't know. The mother was at least trying to take care of her child by going to work instead of depending on the government. If the man never showed any type of "tendencies" how was she suppose to know. Also, we don't know her situation. Not every one can afford daycares etc. Hoping for the best for recovery...

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