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State Supreme Court OKs Conviction, Death In Toddler Slaying

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty and first-degree murder conviction of a man charged in the physical abuse death of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son.

Thirty-one-year-old Patrick Haney Jr., was convicted and sentenced by a Fayette County jury last year in the 2011 death of 4-year-old Trenton St. Clair.

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Haney has denied harming the boy and his attorney argued that even if the abuse occurred as prosecutors claimed, they didn't prove Haney specifically intended to kill the boy.

The high court rejected that in upholding the conviction and death sentence on Thursday.

The boy's mother, Heather Forsythe, is serving 2½ to five years in after pleading guilty to child endangerment by not seeking immediate medical attention for the boy, who was abused over several weeks.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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