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Caregivers plead guilty in 2015 death of Penn Hills man

January 17, 2018 GMT

A Penn Hills husband and wife who allowed a disabled man in their care to lose half his body weight and develop bedsores so bad he developed sepsis, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder Tuesday in front of Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.

David Fuhrman, 54, weighed 76 pounds when paramedics pronounced him dead in his Penn Hills home Nov. 24, 2015.

He had weighed about 140 pounds when he was healthy, according to his caregivers, Pamela McNeal, 59, and her husband, 49-year-old Adam Haynes. Both pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, neglect, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4.

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Charges were filed against Haynes and McNeal Dec. 7, 2016 — more than a year after Fuhrman died.

According to the criminal complaint, Haynes used the OnStar services in his vehicle to call for help Nov. 24, 2015. When police and paramedics arrived, they found Fuhrman dead in bed, wearing three adult diapers, with his ribs and hips showing through his skin and with clearly infected bedsores.

McNeal told police they’d been caring for Fuhrman for more than 15 years, and she’d “essentially adopted Fuhrman,” according to the complaint. He functioned at the level of a 5-year-old, she said, and originally lived with them in their Crafton home until they moved to Penn Hills “around 2011.”

The couple said that Fuhrman began to decline about six months before his death, when he began falling often and eventually could no longer move or sit up in bed, according to the complaint.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

Reach her at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.