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Mother To Testify In Beating Death Of 4-Year-Old Son

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(Photo Credit: Pennsylvania State Police/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Pennsylvania State Police/KDKA)

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UNIONTOWN, Pa. (KDKA/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.

Heather Forsythe, 30, 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.”

Authorities said they believe the alleged abuse happened at a home in Point Marion where the couple was living.

Previously in court, a doctor from Ruby Memorial Hospital testified that the boy had likely been dead for some time before his mother and her boyfriend took him to the hospital.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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