- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pennsylvania couple has been ordered to stand trial in the November 2015 death of a man with disabilities who was living with them.

The Allegheny County district judge’s ruling came after an emotional preliminary hearing Friday in the case against Adam Haynes, 48, and Pamela McNeal, 59, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2mc7QWv ) reported.

They were charged with criminal homicide and neglect of a care dependent person in the death of David Fuhrman, 54, who authorities said was extremely malnourished and showed signs of neglect. The judge dismissed a charge of unlawful restraint.

The pair had been formal caretakers for Fuhrman for years in the county’s domiciliary care program for adults who can’t live alone, but left the program after their move from Crafton to Penn Hills and Fuhrman left the program to live with them.

McNeal’s attorney, J. Kerrington Lewis, said even after leaving the program, his client continued to care for Fuhrman, for example pureeing his food when he could no longer chew, even though she was no longer “paid to be a caretaker” and was essentially “a landlord.” The couple received some compensation for housing Fuhrman, but it was less than what they got under the county’s paid caregivers program, he said.

“I think that she cared for him, I just think it got over her head,” he said, also asserting that Fuhrman “got sick fast,” noting that a hospital scale indicated that he had lost 60 pounds about a year before his death.

Assistant District Attorney Julie Capone, however, rejected Lewis’ assertion that Fuhrman’s condition had declined quickly.

“This is not ‘quick,’ your honor,” she said, holding photos of an emaciated Fuhrman, who weighed 76 pounds at the time of this death. “This is like a concentration camp.”

Haynes‘ attorney, Christopher Patarini, said during the proceedings that his client tried to tell his wife that Fuhrman needed to see a doctor as his health declined in 2015. Fuhrman last visited a doctor in late 2014. Patarini declined comment to reporters afterward but said Haynes would plead not guilty.


Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, https://www.post-gazette.com

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