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Published August 12, 2009 by The Valley Independent (Pittsburgh, PA)

Man kills wife, now wants to control custody of children from jail

by Liz Zemba

Carla Higinbotham, mother of six

Carla Higinbotham, mother of six

A Fayette County man accused of running over over his wife with his car and killing her wants his parents to have legal custody of two of his children.

In addition, Ronald Lee Higinbotham wants the cousins of a third adopted child to have custody of that youngster.

Higinbotham, 44, of Brownsville, is charged by state police with criminal homicide in the hit-and-run death of his wife, 30-year-old Carmen Higinbotham.

In a criminal complaint, state police allege Higinbotham drove his 2000 Hyundai Tiburon over his wife shortly before midnight June 20 on Route 40 near 7235 National Pike, then left her to die.

Carmen Higinbotham was the mother of six children, including two of her own, two stepchildren and two who were adopted.

According to separate civil actions scheduled to be presented in Fayette County motions court today, Ron Higinbotham is the natural father of two of the children - a 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. He is the adoptive father of a third child, identified as a 15-year-old boy.

The two younger children are staying in West Brownsville with Ron Higinbotham's parents, Patricia Ann and Donald Lee Higinbotham Sr., according to one of the filings.

In a separate civil action, Higinbotham wants a judge to grant custody of the adopted 15-year-old boy to the boy's cousins. The boy's cousins, Eric W. and Maxine R. Rosie, of Smithfield, already are caring for the teen, according to the civil filing.

Attached to both filings are custody agreements, both of which have been agreed to and signed by Ron Higinbotham.

He remains lodged in the Fayette County Prison without bond. He faces a preliminary hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 28 before South Union Township District Judge Joseph George Jr.

Posted by Rachel Allen on August 26, 2009.

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