A Delaware County couple accused of causing severe head injuries to a 1-year-old boy in January is fighting to keep their attorneys.
Prosecutors say that the same attorneys representing the boy’s mother and her boyfriend may create a conflict of interest.
Natasha M. Moore, 28, of 1163 Bayridge Drive, Lewis Center, and her boyfriend, Abdurahman Mohamed Abdurahman, 23, of 12 Tabliore Loop, Delaware, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court for a hearing on March 7 where Common Pleas Judge David Gormley ordered them to obtain new attorneys.
Gormley’s decision has been appealed.
Moore is charged with two counts of endangering children, which are third-degree felonies, and Abdurahman is charged with a charge of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and two felony counts of endangering children for allegedly abusing Moore’s 1-year-old son Phoenyx Moore. The two were be tried together April 12.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital officials said they could not disclose when Phoenyx Moore was discharged but said he was no longer a patient Sunday. In early March, the boy had been hospitalized for six weeks.
Natasha Moore and Abdurahman are jointly represented by Brian Jones and Elizabeth Osorio.
Gormley’s decision came after assistant county prosecutor Douglas Dumolt filed a motion, stating that Natasha Moore and Abdurahman having the same attorneys represents a conflict of interest.
“As this case proceeds closer to trial and additional investigation occurs, the state anticipates that the interests of the two defendants will continue to diverge,” Dumolt writes in his motion. “The state wishes to avoid delays caused by the near-trial epiphany of either defendant that his or her interest is not entirely aligned with the other.”
Gormley agreed and on March 7 ordered both defendants to obtain new attorneys because “the best interests of the two defendants may diverge and their divergent interests may not be properly protected if they are represented by the same attorneys.”
Jones and Osorio filed an appeal with the 5th District Court of Appeals on March 16.
A judgment has not been issued on the court of appeals case and the trial — previously scheduled for April 12 — has been delayed.
Court records indicate a new trial date has not been scheduled.
Natasha Moore and Abdurahman were out on bail Sunday.
Prosecutors allege that Abdurahman hit the baby’s head against a wall several times on Jan. 13 and caused serious injuries.
A grand-jury indictment for Natasha Moore states that she created a “substantial risk to the health or safety of the child, by violating a duty of care, protection or support” because she did not stop the abuse.
Prosecutors said the case was reported to police after the couple brought the boy to the hospital.
Court documents allege that on Jan. 13 Abdurahman caused “severe head trauma” to the baby by “striking his head against a bedroom wall at least five times.”
Court documents, filed by detectives at the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, said the baby suffered a right occipital fracture, subdural hematoma — a pool of blood between the brain and its casing — and a right cranial fracture with a midline shift.
During an interview with detectives on Jan. 13, Abdurahman said he and Natasha Moore were the only people to have been in custody of the boy for the previous 48 hours.
Prosecutors said Natasha Moore and Abdurahman do not have prior criminal records.