AUBURN — A Lewiston man charged in the drowning death of his baby son told investigators that he left the boy alone in only 5 inches of bath water for no more than 13 seconds while he retrieved towels.

Sean St. Amand, 28, could be seen in video and heard on audio tapes describing the scene at a Pierce Street apartment at noon Oct. 20, 2014, when he was bathing his two children.

The boy’s mother, Jennifer Everett, had been napping at the time.

Detectives from Maine State Police and Lewiston Police Department interviewed St. Amand twice, once at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on the day his son died and again a couple of days later at the Lewiston police station.

He was indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. A manslaughter conviction is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

St. Amand admitted to smoking a marijuana cigarette that day, but told police that it happened before his two children — Sean Jr., who was nearly 1 year old and Shay-Lynn, who was 2 years old — had awakened for their bath.

Police testified at a hearing in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Tuesday that witnesses told them the bathtub in which the children had been bathing had overflowed and flooded the bathroom and hallway as well as the basement.

St. Amand told detectives it was the toilet, not the bathtub, that had caused the flooding.

When police asked why there was no evidence of sewage in the bathroom, St. Amand said he had cleaned it up.

St. Amand said he had gone to get towels to dry both children and when he returned, his son was lying on his back with his head facing up.

The boy was unresponsive and cold, St. Amand said.

He scooped him out of the bathtub and carried him to the living room floor where he began administering chest compressions and respiration, alternately.

When emergency medical technicians arrived, they took over giving the boy CPR, St. Amand said.

Detectives testified Tuesday that the apartment reeked of burnt marijuana and that drug paraphernalia was in plain sight on the kitchen table.

Police had questioned Antonio Asphy, a house guest who had returned to the apartment after donating plasma. Asphy told police that when he arrived, he heard water running and children playing in the bathtub. He said he and St. Amand smoked pot at the kitchen table while his kids were in the bathtub. St. Amand checked on them every two or three minutes, Asphy told police.

The last time he checked, he returned holding the baby, who wasn’t breathing, Asphy told police.

Near the end of the second interview, St. Amand is heard telling police: “I wouldn’t kill my own son.”

The lead detective said: “No one said you did.”

“I know,” St. Amand said, “but that’s how you guys are blaming it on me.”

At one point during the first interview, St. Amand speculates what might have happened in the bathtub.

“I think Shay-Lynn pushed him over and he got too much water in his mouth,” he said.

St. Amand’s attorney, George Hess, filed motions aimed at blocking his client’s statements to investigators from being used at trial.

Hess wrote in court papers that police conducted an illegal search of St. Amand’s apartment and seized his cellphone and blood without St. Amand’s permission.

Detectives testified Tuesday that emergency responders were invited into the building and apartment after Asphy called 911 reporting an unresponsive child. Detectives photographed evidence in plain sight, including puddles of water because they were afraid it would dissipate if not documented immediately. They also applied for a search warrant that was executed later that day.

St. Amand could be heard in an audio recording giving permission to police to draw his blood and he surrendered his cellphone to police, who included searching its contents in a search warrant.

At the start of the second interview with St. Amand, detectives could be heard advising him of his constitutional rights.

In a video recording, St. Amand was shown placing a doll-like figure in the bathtub at his apartment to demonstrate how he put his son in the tub and the position of his son’s lifeless body later that day.

During cross-examination, Hess asked former Maine State Police Detective Randall Keaten whether he considered St. Amand a suspect the first time he interviewed him.

Keaten said he was investigating whether a crime had been committed and said he considered everyone who had been in the apartment to be a possible suspect.

Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman asked Keaten whether his first interview with St. Amand was focused more on gathering information about what happened on Oct. 20 than pursuing a particular suspect. He said it was aimed at gleaning details of the events that day and establishing a timeline.

Attorneys on both sides are expected to put their arguments on the suppression motions in writing for the judge to review.

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