Judge sets bail for Lewiston man in murder case

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AUBURN — A judge set bail Wednesday at $50,000 cash for a Lewiston man charged with murdering his infant son in December.

In reaching her decision, Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy said she took into account the seriousness of charges against Danny Adams, 24, evidence of physical injury, statements he made to investigators, his estrangement from his family and his history of poverty.

Kennedy ordered Adams, if he were to post bail, not to have any contact with the mother and family of his deceased son, Zade Adams, who was 14 weeks old when he died.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainia was seeking cash bail of $100,000; Adams’ attorney, Donald Hornblower, asked for $5,000.

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Adams had been held without bail at Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn since his arrest in January. He pleaded not guilty to charges of depraved indifference murder and manslaughter in February.

Zainia painted a portrait of Adams as a drug-addicted drifter who had no communication with his estranged mother and never knew his father. He lived in the woods before Zade Adams’ mother became pregnant and he moved in with her and her mother.

Adams had no job at the time of Zade Adams’ death on Dec. 14, 2014. Before that, his employment history was “spotty at best, marked by periods of incarceration,” Zainia said.

She said Adams admitted using heroin the night before and morning of his son’s death. He also has a record of probation violations for marijuana, opiates and LSD use, she said.

While a juvenile, Adams was convicted of felony burglary and assault. His adult record is 22 pages, Zainia said, including several probation violations for leaving the scene of an accident and receiving stolen property. In 2013, he failed to report to his probation officer, then failed to pay fines, she said.

Hornblower said his client “is innocent of this charge. We believe that to the core of our bones.”

Adams talked to investigators at length without an attorney about the events that led up to the death of his son, Hornblower said.

Adams tried to save his son’s life, not end it, Hornblower said. The first emergency room doctor said the injuries shown on Zade Adams’ face were consistent with life-saving efforts, Hornblower said.

The state asked earlier that Adams be held without bail. When Adams sought a hearing that would require the state to show probable cause for Adams’ arrest and charges, the state withdrew its request for no bail.

Adams has lived in Maine for 15 years and has worked whenever he could find a job, Hornblower said. Adams’ criminal record is not extraordinary, Hornblower said.

Kennedy called the charges “very serious” shortly before setting bail.

Police wrote in an affidavit that Adams had forced a pacifier into the mouth of his son at Adams’ apartment at 77 Rideout Ave. in Lewiston on the morning of Dec. 14, 2014, and held it in place in an effort to keep the baby from crying.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was asphyxiation.

Adams told police in an earlier interview that he had injected heroin the night before at a friend’s house, then smoked marijuana with Kaitlyn Baker, Zade’s mother, when Adams got to the apartment he shared with Baker and their baby. He said he had bruised Zade’s ears when he squeezed them with his thumb and fingers as he held the head of the baby, who continued to cry, according to court papers.

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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