State police detail killings of four in Indiana County

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In a nearly hour-long press conference today, Pennsylvania State Police in Indiana County for the first time laid out in detail how four people -- two of them children -- were slain last week in two separate domestic disputes that turned violent.

Lewis Beatty, 40, and Shaun Fairman, 32, were both charged over the weekend in connection with the separate incidents, which have left Indiana County law enforcement wondering if anything could have be done to prevent them.

"We were all pretty shaken Friday night," District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said.

In the first, police said Mr. Beatty, who was having marital problems, killed his 6-year-old daughter Sarah, slitting her throat with a hunting knife while she was in her bed sometime Friday at their mobile home on Morrow Road in South Mahoning.

He waited for his 11-year-old daughter Amanda to return home and killed her in the living room, also slitting her throat, Trooper John Matchik said.

Police said he stopped by a convenience store to buy a soft drink, attempted to add his mother's name to an account at a bank and stalked his estranged wife Christine outside of her job at a bank in Marion Center.

He followed to her home and attacked her inside her home on Pfeiffer Road, police said. He slit her throat with a kitchen knife, police said, then set her house ablaze.

He went back to the Morrow Road home and set the house on fire but was rescued by a neighbor.

Mr. Beatty was arraigned Saturday morning on three counts of homicide.

Mr. Dougherty said he's considering into asking for the death penalty for Mr. Beatty.

Early Sunday morning, less than 48 hours later, police said Mr. Fairman shot and killed his father-in-law, Richard Shotts.

Mr. Fairman was barred from seeing his wife Jessica or their four children because of a protection-from-abuse order.

Lt. Bernard Petrovsky said Mr. Fairman showed up at Ms. Fairman's house and tried to get inside, but Mr. Shotts attempted to stop him.

Mr. Fairman shot him in the neck as he stood in the kitchen, police said. Inside the house, he went room to room looking for Ms. Fairman, who had just filed for divorce, police said.

She shot him in the arm as he entered a back bedroom where she had holed up, police said.

Mr. Dougherty said he did not plan to file charges against Ms. Fairman.

Mr. Fairman is charged with homicide, aggravated assault and burglary.

breaking - region - neigh_east

Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 and on Twitter @MoriahBee. First Published June 4, 2012 2:15 PM


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