Man charged, 3-year-old critical

CLINTON Police say 21-year-old John Troy Moore was caring for his girlfriend's child Wednesday, while she was working. Moore later contacted the girl’s mother, Marybeth Johnson, to tell her the child was sick.

Johnson returned home and took her daughter to Clinton Medical Clinic. From there, she was taken immediately to Sampson Regional Medical Center due to the seriousness of her condition.

Doctors said she had life-threatening brain injuries and other bodily injuries consistent with child abuse. The girl was later transferred to UNC.

Officials say the child is currently on life support.

After consulting with the District Attorney’s Office, it was determined that there was enough evidence to establish probable cause to charge Moore with “child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury”, which is a Class C felony.

Moore was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.

Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton described the incident as “tragic” and asked for citizens to keep the little girl in their prayers.

"I can't fathom anybody inflicting any kind of pain and suffering on a small child," Thornton said. "We as a society, we need to send a strong message that we are not going to allow adults to abuse children."

The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation of the case.

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