Moore charged with killing teen-aged girl with Darvocet & alcohol
A 54-year-old Pound man has been charged with murder for allegedly distributing drugs and alcohol to a teen-aged girl who died from an overdose.
Johnny Arlin Moore was indicted by a county grand jury Friday on one count of second-degree murder in death of 16-year-old Samantha Ann Lowe.
Moore, of 9700 Meade Road, further was indicted on two counts of distributing controlled substances to Lowe, a minor, and one misdemeanor charge of distributing alcohol to Lowe, who was underage.
In separate indictments, the grand jury also charged Moore with three counts of distributing controlled substances to two other minor females, and one count of committing aggravated sexual battery on one of the girls.
If convicted on the charges, Moore could face maximum sentences of 50 years in prison on each of the distribution charges, and a maximum sentence of 40 years on the murder charge.
The murder charge stems from a Dec. 14, 2002, incident at Moore's residence during which he allegedly gave Lowe as many as 19 prescription pills, which she consumed with alcohol.
According to police, the girl's friends took her to St. Mary's Hospital in Norton when they realized she was unconscious. Lowe, of Norton, remained comatose until Dec. 19, 2002, when doctors discontinued life support.
On Monday, Commonwealth Attorney Joe Carico explained that Moore has been charged with felony murder, a type of second-degree murder that applies to those who kill another person unintentionally while committing a felony.
Carico said he has not yet received the results of toxicology tests performed on Lowe, but the drugs she is believed to have consumed included the prescription muscle relaxant Soma and the prescription painkiller Darvocet. Police have said they learned of the drugs and alcohol by talking to witnesses who were present at Moore's residence the night of Dec. 14.
While in the process of investigating Lowe's overdose, police arrested Moore for giving prescription drugs to a 14-year-old girl who accompanied Lowe to the residence. Later, officers also arrested him on charges he gave a 17-year-old girl drugs at an earlier date and then sexually assaulted her.
During Jan. 22 preliminary hearings on the charges, the 14-year-old, who has since turned 15, testified she went to Moore's house Dec. 14 with Lowe and a group of friends. The girl, who described Lowe as being her best friend, said she had never met Moore before that night and had never been to his house.
The girl claimed they had been at the house only about 20 minutes when Moore gave each of them two white pills, which he identified as Soma. She said neither of them had asked for pills.
The teen said she and Lowe went into the bathroom, and Lowe swallowed two of the pills. The girl planned to throw away her own two pills, but she gave the pills to Lowe after Lowe asked for them. Lowe put the pills in her pocket, the girl said, and she never saw Lowe take them.
The girl further testified everyone at the house was drinking alcohol except her. Moore gave her a beer, she said, but she took one drink and put it aside, claiming it made her sick.
Also during the preliminary hearings, the 17-year-old testified she had gone to Moore's house around Sept. 1, 2002, with her former boyfriend, who was 18, three of his relatives and a friend. All five of them had been drinking alcohol, she said, and they continued to drink while at Moore's house.
The men told her to ask Moore for pills, she said, because they believed he would be more likely to give the pills to her than to them.
The girl did ask for pills, and she claimed Moore gave her between eight and 11 Soma tablets and three tablets of the prescription muscle relaxant Valium.
She put the pills in her jacket pocket and fell asleep on the sofa, the girl said. The pills disappeared and she assumed the men had taken them out of her pocket.
The girl claimed Moore showed pornographic video tapes to the group, and later, after most of the others had left, Moore began making sexual advances toward her.
Moore made sexual advances at her twice, the girl said, trying to pull up her shirt and touching her in the groin. The girl said she told him to stop and pushed him away from her both times. Moore's actions frightened her, the girl said, because he was much older and was touching her in places she didn't want to be touched.