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The Fenn Murder Trial

Alzheimer's Patient's Murder Trial - Palm Beach Post

John Fullerton MD in the courtroomDr. John H. Fullerton Certified Clinical Forensics Expert of Hampton Health, Ltd. took the stand in the deciding moments of the notorious West Palm Beach Fenn Trial heard round the United States, as seen here in September 2009.

"Dr. Fullerton testified for the defense, graphing for jurors seven stages of decline in Alzheimer's patients, during the first-degree murder trial of Toby Fenn and his wife Kerstin Fenn." (Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post, September 18, 2009)

"The Fenns faced possible life in prison for the death of Kerstin's mother, Elly Lorey, whom they cared for. Dr. Fullerton testified 'I've seen this very similar style of care - trial and error.' " See the Palm Beach Post article 'Doctor Counters Starvation Claim in Alzheimer's Death; Says Shrunken Appearance No Surprise' also available in our Articles & Resources section.

John Fullerton MD on the stand"Dr. Fullerton, at least the sixth medical doctor called to testify, [following the traditional exchange between the forensic pathologist and in this case the nationally renowned "pioneers" and celebrity autopsy experts Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Vincent DiMaio, respectively] opined that Lorey was in a very advanced stage of Alzheimer's and the manner the Fenns managed her dementia met an acceptable level of care." (Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post September 18, 2009)

Dr. Fullerton's testimony was a deciding factor in the Fenns not being charged with first-degree murder but charged with the lesser offenses of culpable negligence (a misdemeanor) and abuse of an elderly person.

Of note, Dr. Fullerton has been retained as an end-of-life care criminal defense expert in seven additional similar cases whereby lay caregivers, caring for loved ones with dementia (with associated wasting and unavoidable pressure ulcers) while at home, have been charged with homicide.

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