Mother sentenced for neglect in toddler’s death

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The mother of a 2-year-old girl found dead in her crib in January 2018 has been sentenced, while her now-ex-boyfriend waits for his next day in court.

Crystal M. Belcher was sentenced to three years in prison. In March, Belcher pleaded guilty to two felony counts of neglect related to the Jan. 27, 2018, death of her daughter, 2-year-old Jocelyn Belcher.

Young Jocelyn was found unresponsive in a home in the 200 block of Butler street Jan. 27. According to court documents, her mother, Crystal Belcher, found the toddler wrapped in a blanket in the corner of the crib. When Belcher pulled the blanket away, Jocelyn was blue and barely breathing.

Shane A. Patton speaks with WANE 15’s Angelica Robinson on Friday, July 26, 2019.

Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office said she died from lack of oxygen due to compression of the neck.

Police arrested Crystal Belcher on a felony charge of Neglect of a Dependent in April 2018. Days later, Belcher’s boyfriend, Shane A. Patton, was charged with three counts of felony neglect and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Shane A. Patton was arrested in October. He pleaded guilty to neglect earlier this month, but changed course days later and asked for a new public defender and a trial.

Belcher has cooperated with prosecutors in the case against Patton. As part of her sentencing, she provided a sworn statement about what happened, it was learned in court Friday.

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