Dr. Albert Fink, the psychologist who caused a mistrial by falsifying the psychological evaluation of Caleb Loving, will now face criminal charges. An arrest warrant was issued for Dr. Fink on felony counts of obstruction of justice and theft.
Trial of Caleb Loving
Caleb Loving was on trial for allegedly setting fire to the Sugar Mill Creek Townhomes and then taking explosives to a nearby fast-food restaurant. Loving is charged with possession of a destructive device or explosive; arson; criminal recklessness; and false informing. His defense attorney argued that Loving should be found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
State law requires that courts appoint at least two mental health professionals to evaluate defendants’ competency when there is a motion by defense to do so. The court appointed Dr. Fink as a forensic psychologist in Loving’s trial. Albert Fink had been licensed to practice psychology in Indiana since 1973.
Motion for a Mistrial
Fink crashed his car into a tree and was taken to the hospital for injuries. The troopers who responded to the crash believe that the crash was intentional. One Indiana State Police trooper who responded to the crash reported that Fink told him that he was scheduled to testify at Loving’s trial and was afraid that it would be found out that he had falsified his report.
When he learned this information, Loving’s attorney, Vanderburgh County Chief Public Defender Stephen Owens, examined the visitor logs at jail. Owens reports that he is, “about 99 percent certain he didn’t see Caleb (Loving).”
On the third day of Loving’s trial, the defense and prosecution filed a joint motion for mistrial and the presiding judge granted the motion.
Fink has been involved in over 70 Vanderburgh County cases since 2001, including trials for murder, attempted murder, child molesting, and kidnapping. The defense attorneys have been notified in all of these cases.
Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann says that he expects challenges to arise in some of the cases in which Fink has filed reports. Owens stated, “I think probably every case he has done in the last few years is going to be required to be reviewed… Whether he did anything wrong or not, he is certainly going to be discredited.”
The Evansville Courier & Press reports that Dr. Fink’s Evansville office doors have been locked and his phone number has been disconnected.
This is not the first time that Dr. Fink has been involved in controversy. According to Kentucky state records, in 1993, Fink was under investigation for battery against a child. The State uncovered information during that investigation that led them to allege that Fink had been incompetent or negligent and that he had divulged confidential information. The Indiana Psychology Board voted not to pursue disciplinary action against Fink based on those allegations and the American Psychological Association found no wrongdoing by Fink. However, Fink surrendered his license to practice in Kentucky without admitting any wrongdoing.