Woman gets 3 years in neglect death

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.

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 7:11 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2019 8:50 AM

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.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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