Shannon Terrell Moore was convicted on Wednesday in the death of his 22-month old son in a motorcycle wreck; the jury found him guilty of child abuse homicide along with misdemeanor counts of not wearing protective headgear while on a motorcycle and unlawful motorcycle riding.
Prosecutors allege that in August 2012, the forty-nine-year-old Moore was riding his bike at speeds in excess of 40 mph in his apartment complex’s parking lot. His son was balanced on the seat between his father and the handlebars. The tragedy occurred when Moore attempted to navigate a corner and locked up the front wheel.
Witnesses in the parking lot of the Bridgeside Way apartments in Taylorsville – which is a suburb of Salt Lake City – testified that the father was warned about his reckless riding. One teenager yelled at the man, “Slow down, you idiot!” Another neighbor was a woman who called out from her patio, “There’s a reason they don’t make helmets that small!”
The only thing that stopped Moore was when he lost control of the motorcycle and his body was flung more than 50 feet on the pavement. He had fractures to his head, collar bone, and face in addition to a dislocated shoulder and memory loss.
His son was killed.
The jury deliberated for two hours before coming to a decision of child abuse homicide which is a second-degree felony. Moore could be sentenced to serve up to 15 years in the Utah State Prison when sentencing takes place on the scheduled date of January 10, 2014.
The father did take the stand in his own defense and claimed he would have never harmed his son as he loved him. He also said that he didn’t see riding around the parking lot as a high risk activity.  “We rode that motorbike together almost every day,” said Moore. “I loved my son.”
Prosecutors told the jury that an experienced rider with nearly 40 years of experience should have known better and said that Moore was “… playing Russian Roulette.”
Law enforcement testified that due to evidence found at the scene, they estimate that Moore was traveling at 41 mph and lost control when the front wheel locked up due to improper braking.
Moore countered he testimony that he had never encountered such a problem before and rode with his two older sons in the same fashion. Those boys were in the courtroom, silently weeping, as they watched their father’s trial.
The toddler’s mother, Sequoia Moore, was also in the courtroom. She is divorced from the father and she was clad in a bright green dress in homage to her son’s love of frogs. She told people that she had found hope in little frogs because they can only hop forward – which is what she must do now to carry on.
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