Share This Page

Psychological exam on hold in child death

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

An expert wants his $3,000 fee to be paid in advance before he conducts a psychological examination of a Fayette County man who faces a possible death penalty in the fatal beating of a 4-year-old boy.

Patrick Ray Haney and the boy's mother, Heather Louise Forsythe, both 29, are charged with criminal homicide in the Sept. 13, 2011, death of Forsythe's son, Trenton Lewis St. Clair.

Prosecutors allege Haney beat the boy over an extended period of time and Forsythe did nothing to stop the abuse.

District Attorney Jack Heneks is seeking the death penalty against Haney, with torture and the victim's age listed as aggravating circumstances if he is convicted of first-degree murder.

James Andrews, a forensic social worker with Forensic Behavioral Associates of Greensburg, has been retained by Haney's attorney, Charles M. Carpinelli of Brownsville, as a mitigation expert. If there is a penalty phase in the trial, the defense will present mitigating circumstances that could justify a sentence of life imprisonment.

According to a motion filed Tuesday by Carpinelli, Andrews will not interview Haney until Fayette County advances him his $3,000 fee.

Judge Nancy Vernon previously issued an order approving a fee of up to $3,000 for Haney's psychological exam. Another $6,000 has been set aside for an investigator and a mitigation expert.

In the motion, Carpinelli indicated that Andrews tried unsuccessfully to have the county pay his fee in advance. Carpinelli is seeking a judge's order requiring Fayette County to pay the fee in advance, according to the motion.

Carpinelli plans to present the filing in motions court on June 3.

Haney and Forsythe are both in Fayette County jail.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.