Trenton's grandmother lovs
him so much that she called Children And Youth Services to report that
she felt he was being abused in the home he lived in with his 27 year
old mother, Heather Forsythe and her boyfriend, Patrick Roy Haney who
was also 27 years old. Sharon called and it seemed that no one wanted
"I called CYS time and
time again and I told them there's abuse going on and I never got
back. Today, I got one back. It's too late. My baby's dead"
Sharon had been calling in the weeks before Trenton died trying to get
someone to listen. As it too often happens, a child was abused to death
, people want to
listen. Patrick and Heather were arrested after it was determined that
his death was abuse related. Patrick was charged with criminal homicide
and Heather was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. It was
determined that Trenton had been being abused since July and that it
only ended when he was taken to a hospital in West Virginia where he
ended up dying.
Police reports say that Heather admitted that Patrick had been abusing
Trenton for days and he even told Police that he hit Trenton in the
face and smacked him in the back of the head. Heather said that Patrick
had been beating on Trenton for a few weeks by pulling his hair,
slapping him in the face and hitting him on the back all the while,
leaving bruises over his entire body. It was said that Patrick choked
Trenton and was the one who ended up killing him. Police were told by
Patrick that he beat on Trenton because he refused to listen to him.
When the couple would go out to eat at a restaurant in their town, the
waitress saw them and wondered about Trenton's condition and noticed
that Trenton seemed to be afraid of Patrick:
"They just came in to
eat several times. I thought he didn't look good because he had black
blue marks all over him. She said he had food allergies and that he
couldn't eat very much.
that said, that little boy did. That's all. What could he do? He's four
year old. A little
Even the Mayor, Carl Ables, said that he was upset because it was known
that Children's Services had been called and he wanted the laws to
"It's sick. It is sick.
Something needs to change in these laws, especially when they've been
out and called out and called out. Sometimes it's time to change
Once again I am left wondering how a mother could sacrifice her child
for a man, or for ANY
reason. Children rely on us for protection, love, guidance and to take
care of them. So many children are let down, not only by the system
that is put in place to protect them, but by those who have the
inability to see how blessed they are to even have these precious
Angels in their lives.
In March of 2014, Heather Forsythe was allowed to plead to a lesser
charge of child endangerment and in April of 2014, at the age of 30
years old, she was sentenced by Judge John Wagner to only two and half
to five years for not protecting her son from Patrick. As part of her
plea deal Heather agreed to testify against Patrick, no surprise there,
Heather was allowed to play down her own role in the death of this
precious gift that had been given to her, in order to get less time and
claim less responsibility for the suffering this Angel had to go
It had been almost two years since Trenton had died and FINALLY
court was in session. On the
stand was the Doctor who had treated Trenton when he was brought to the
hospital. Looking at pictures of Trenton was an emotional time for Dr.
Hollynn Larabee as she told the jury that this had been the worst case
of child abuse she had ever seen:
"He was essentially
dead when the got there. It immediately evident that the child had been
There was blood around his mouth. Around his mouth was blue from lack
were no signs of life. I was able to start his heart four time, but I
couldn't keep it started.
was a large amount of bruising"
Dr. Larabee had to put tubes into Trenton's lungs as well as his
stomach and she told of how he was bruised from head to toe and had a
swollen abdomen. On Trenton's body were circular bruises and Dr.
Larabee said that those kinds of bruises were made by fingers not by
falling and that the bruises were the result of intentional trauma and
she said that it was done with a great deal of force, but that if
Trenton had been treated soon enough, he would have lived:
"Peritonitis is very
treatable, it's a relatively easy surgical thing to treat. That was part
what made treating this case difficult. If he'd been brought in
earlier, he likely would
survived. Trenton died of intentional injuries. Non-accidental trauma"
Jeremy Davis was Patrick's Lawyer and he asked if Dr. Larabee was
positive that Trenton could not get these injuries falling down the
stairs and she replied by telling him that in 13 years, she had never
seen these types of injuries from a child falling down the stairs.
Patrick took the stand to defend himself and claimed that he had never
hit Trenton and that he could only guess that Trenton had tried to
climb on a desk to get a cat and had fallen. This was a different story
than he had told Police at the hospital, he said that Trenton had
fallen down the stairs. Patrick said that on September 13th, Heather
had woken him up to tell him that Trenton was not responding to her and
when she tried to pick him up, he went limp:
"I gave him a little
kiss, his mouth was cold. No air was coming out"
At at that point in his testimony, Patrick denied ever having told
Police that he had seen Trenton fall down the stairs adding that he was
only telling them what Heather had told him. Patrick also denied saying
that he had slapped and hit Trenton at any time. Assistant District
Attorney Mark Mehalov asked Patrick about the condition of Trenton
between September 10 and September 13, which is the period of time that
Heather said he had been beating on him:
"Did he complain that
his belly hurt"
he seem tired"
was just regular old Trenton then, playing"
Patrick said that Trenton had seemed fine on those days.
During closing arguments, Jeremy Davis said that the only witness to
say that Patrick had beaten Trenton, was Heather and that she had
already plead guilty to child endangerment and had agreed to testify
against Patrick so that the charge of homicide against her would be
"She wants you to
believe she saw a man abusing her child and she couldn't get help. It
add up, ladies and gentlemen"
Jeremy brought up the fact that Heather could have called for help at
any time because she did have access to a cell phone. Mark Mehalov told
the jury of how Heather had said that Patrick hated children and had
always wanted her to send Trenton away:
"He didn't care about
this kid. He wanted this kid gone"
Mark told of how Patrick tried to play down the abuse he had heaped
upon Trenton by saying that he never may have slapped him, but he had
never beaten on him:
"Nothing we can do is
going to bring him back to his family, but we can do justice for him.
is no better example of malice than what you see in these pictures.
heart, evil. This child died at the hands of this man. He did the
beating. He put Trenton
that slab. You go back and check that box guilty"
In March of 2014, a jury took 90 minutes to deliberate before finding
Patrick Ray Haney Jr., who was 29 years old at the time, guilty of of
first degree murder. The prosecution was seeking the death penalty in
Patrick's case and the jury would have to be in court again to decide
if he would actually be put to death. Patrick didn't show any emotion
as the verdict was read.
Sharon Smitley and one of Trenton's aunts were happy about the verdict :
"We got it. This is the
happiest day of my life. We did it. It's been too long coming. I'd like
Mark Mehalov, Trooper Hames Pierce and all the doctors with this case.
baby finally got his justice"
In court in
March of 2014, Heather told of finding bruises on Trenton's body and
when she would ask Patrick about them, he always seemed to have an
explanation. I call BS
Heather, you KNEW
going on and didn't care one bit! Heather said that the bruises become
more frequent and got worse in the last week of Trenton's life and that
she had come home on and caught Patrick hitting Trenton. Heather said
she had a cell phone but was unable to reach any of her family.
Sharon had seen the pictures of Trenton's injuries and she said that
they were very upsetting to her:
"I did get a glimpse of
the pictures. They're bad and really upsetting. I believe he
to die as well - a long hard death. I'm sorry if I sound cold and
he did to my grandson was colder and crueler than anybody could imagine"
The jury sentenced Patrick to death. Trenton's father said he doesn't
blame Heather for what happened:
"I don't know how
somebody can, would even hit him. I was an awesome dad, she'll
you the same. We did everything together, swim, walks in the park, rode
I don't think she saw it, I don't think, I mean, nothing to do with it,
I think she had
to do with it.
Joseph had spent time with
Trenton before he died and he also suspected some abuse was taking
place and he called CYS who claimed they found no signs of abuse on
Trenton. Joseph already had Trenton's name tattooed on his arm, after
he died, Trenton's birth and death dates were added to the tattoo.