Andover man pleads guilty to murder in death of child

An Andover man, accused of causing the death of a three-year-old Anoka boy in August 2011, has pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to a murder charge.

Anthony Urban
Anthony Urban

At a plea hearing yesterday (April 26), Anthony William Urban, 25, entered a guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge.

A first-degree assault count will be dismissed at sentencing, which has been set for Aug. 10.

Urban had been scheduled to go on trial on the two charges May 7.

He remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

“This was a horrible crime committed against an  innocent child,” said Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo, “It was truly a tragedy.”

Codefendant Elizabeth Ann Moorman, 40, 1845 S. Ferry St., Anoka, the mother of the boy, Devin Drake, and the girlfriend of Urban, has a July 30 trial date on second-degree manslaughter and neglect of a child charges, both felonies.

The evening of Aug. 30, 2011 Moorman brought Devin to the Mercy Hospital emergency room, where he was quickly diagnosed with severe head trauma, punctured lung and a variety of contusions all over his body before being airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center and its ICU unit where he died Sept. 3, 2011.

According to the complaint, his injuries were consistent with severe abuse and not consistent with the explanations given by Moorman to staff at Mercy.

Moorman allegedly gave hospital staff and investigators from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office different accounts as to how Devin’s injuries might have occurred while he was in Urban’s care.

According to the complaint, Urban provided several different scenarios for Devin’s injuries in a series of statements, but none were consistent with those described by medical staff.

Eventually, Urban acknowledged hitting Devin on the side of the head Aug. 29 causing him to fall off a stool on to the bathroom floor, demonstrating what he did with an anatomically correct doll.

While acknowledging his responsibility for the boy’s head injuries, Urban said that Devin was biting down on his fingers at this time.

He did not take Devin to the hospital or call 911 because Moorman told him not do so, according to Urban.

A neighbor of Moorman said in a statement that on Aug. 29 when she helped Moorman carry bags into her apartment, Devin came running to the door and had a big lump on his forehead, which was starting to bruise, scrape marks on his neck and bite marks on his hand.

According to the complaint, results of a skeletal scan performed on the boy at Hennepin County Medical Center showed a healing facture of his right radial and ulna bones.


Peter Bodley is at
[email protected]

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