Stein attorneys seek medical records
Attorneys for a Blairsville man accused of stabbing his son in the head filed a motion Wednesday with Indiana County Common Pleas Court to examine the boy's psychiatric and medical records.
Attorneys for William Shane Stein, 44, of North Brady Street, also filed a motion to prevent prosecutors from using testimony about any alleged statements the boy may have made to medical personnel in the course of being treated or diagnosed.
Pennsylvania State Police charged Stein with stabbing his then 12-year-old son, Shayne Christian Stein, in the head with a steak knife as he lay in bed early on the morning of July 26, 2000.
State police charged Stein with attempted criminal homicide, endangering the welfare of children and two counts of aggravated assault in September 2000. He was charged shortly after Shayne awoke in Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh from a nearly two-month-long coma and identified his father as his attacker.
Shayne, now 13 and living with a foster family, has been in the custody of Indiana County Children and Youth Services since his September 2000 release from Children's Hospital to a Monroeville rehabilitation hospital.
In their motion for discovery and examination of records, Stein's attorneys Tom Ceraso and Jim Ecker said that it appeared that Shayne had been subjected to 'undue influence' that could only be determined through the records. These records are in the possession or control of CYS.
According to the discovery motion, psychiatrist Christine A. Martone evaluated Shayne on Nov. 1, 7 and 14 at the request of the prosecution and prepared an evaluation report and addendum.
'He (Shayne) states that he believes that his father is his attacker because he was told this by medical staff and because his father is not allowed to visit,' according to a portion of Martone's report quoted in the motion.
Stein is not allowed to have contact with Shayne under the terms of his October release from jail on $100,000 bond.
The motion quoted Martone's addendum as stating that Shayne 'would not be an effective witness for the prosecution in that he claims amnesia for the events which led up to his injury.'
On Friday, Indiana County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Olson denied Ceraso and Ecker's motion to have Shayne be evaluated by a psychiatrist on the issue of whether he was competent to testify in his father's trial.
Ceraso and Ecker are seeking to block testimony on statements Shayne allegedly may have made to medical personnel while they were treating him for his injuries.
According to the other motion filed yesterday by Stein's attorneys, under the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence, statements for the purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment are generally not excluded as hearsay.
But according to case law quoted in the motion, that particular rule generally does not 'permit the admission of statements that relate to the identification of the perpetrator of the offense.' The identity of the perpetrator is not pertinent to medical treatment or diagnosis.
Ceraso declined to comment yesterday and referred questions to the motions.
Indiana County District Attorney Robert Bell could not be reached for comment yesterday. Bell has said previously that Shayne has identified his father as his attacker at least once since the initial identification in September 2000.
Stein is currently living in the family duplex on North Brady Street, where he was permitted to return in March after his release from home confinement in an Indiana-area apartment. No trial date has been set.