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Northeastern Indiana woman gets 3 years in neglect death

August 2, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana woman has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to neglect in the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

A judge Friday suspended nine years of the 12-year sentence handed 30-year-old Crystal Belcher of New Haven under terms of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Jocelyn Belcher was found dead Jan. 27, 2018. A coroner ruled she died of neck compression, and a physician found her injuries consistent with a hand being placed over her mouth and neck.

Crystal Belcher tearfully apologized in court and said, “This was a terrible tragedy.”

She must testify against her boyfriend, 32-year-old Shane Patton, who pleaded guilty last week to two counts of neglect but has asked to take back the plea. He faces up to 16 years in prison.

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