Mother to testify in beating death of SW Pa. boy

CHILD-ABUSE

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A southwestern Pennsylvania woman has pleaded guilty in the beating death of her 4-year-old son as jury selection continues for the death penalty trial of her boyfriend.

Thirty-year-old Heather Forsyth of Point Marion pleaded guilty Wednesday to endangering the welfare of a child in the September 2011 death of her son, Trenton St. Clair.

Prosecutors say they have recommended a sentence of 2½ to five years. They say Forsythe has agreed to testify against 30-year-old Patrick Haney Jr., who could face capital punishment if convicted of first-degree murder.

Authorities allege that Haney systematically beat the boy over several weeks and Forsythe did nothing to stop the abuse.

Forsythe testified that she repeatedly sought to call her family or go to the hospital but Haney said she was “overreacting.”

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