While Bloomington psychologist Albert Fink’s career effectively ended when his professional license was revoked last month, the ongoing impact of Dr. Fink falsifying a mental exam in a criminal case did not.
At least one alleged crime that happened after Fink’s conviction last year could cause an issue for the court system.
The theoretical impact of Albert Fink’s crime on the court system in Indiana took a very real turn, just after five o’clock on a mid-January evening this year. Evansville police officers Jackie Smith and Herbert Adams responded to the call of a disturbed person at a home on South Grand Avenue.
In the kitchen of the home, the officers had a violent encounter with 47-year-old Vincent Bufkin, whose previous convictions include child molesting, battery with bodily waste and several charges of resisting law enforcement.
Caution, strong lanuage and use of deadly force contained in video clip below.
Bodycam video shows Bufkin attacking Officer Adams, punching him and trying to grab his service weapon. Officer Smith fired two shots, hitting Bufkin once in the shoulder before they could get him handcuffed and under control.
Bufkin’s case for the January incident is still pending. However, a 2014 conviction is on a list of 29 criminal cases in Vanderburgh County where it is suspected Albert Fink may have falsified the mental evaluation.
Novella Nedeff of Indiana University's McKinney School of Law said the fact that Fink falsified another evaluation, in the case of an Evansville man, Caleb Loving, could be a bargaining chip for Bufkin if he’s convicted of the January incident. “I think it could be brought up at sentencing.”
The issue is whether a different outcome in Bufkin’s 2014 case could have prevented the January incident.
According to Nedeff, “If he had gotten services then, he might have been able to avoid the altercation for which he was arrested this time.”
Could he go free?
Nedeff is pretty sure Bufkin won't, if he's convicted. “I don’t see an avenue for that. Someone would have to be a lot more creative than I am to come up with that one.”
To date, there have no post-conviction filings relating to the Fink evaluations beyond what we reported earlier. We will continue to follow the story and provide updates as they become available.