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Fort Wayne man pleads guilty to neglect in toddler’s death

July 26, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A Fort Wayne man faces up to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty two counts of felony neglect in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter.

A sentencing hearing for 32-year-old Shane Patton will be scheduled next week after he entered the plea Friday in Allen Superior Court.

Jocelyn Belcher was found dead Jan. 27, 2018, in the family’s home. A coroner ruled her death a homicide due to neck compression, and a post-mortem physician found the child’s injuries consistent with a hand being placed over her mouth and neck.

Her mother, 30-year-old Crystal Belcher, 30, pleaded guilty in March to felony neglect and faces up to three years in prison.

Patton was arrested in October after remaining at large for six months.

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