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The Journal Gazette

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:46 am

Judge declines bond in neglect case

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A judge this morning declined to reinstate bond for a man who pleaded guilty in July to neglecting a 2-year-old girl who died last year. 

Shane A. Patton, 32, admitted July 26 to neglecting the girl – the daughter of his then-girlfriend, Crystal Belcher – and other children in the home and faced up to 16 years in prison, according to a plea agreement. He later "had second thoughts" about the plea, defense attorney Robert Gevers said, and police have accused Patton of wanting to flee to Canada or Nebraska to avoid jail time. 

Patton had been free on bond at the time he pleaded guilty, and his bond was revoked last month. Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull denied Gevers' request to reinstate bond, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled Sept. 27. 

Gevers, who was appointed to defend Patton after another attorney withdrew from the case, said in court he is gathering information including a transcript of the hearing in which Patton pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said the question of whether Patton will take back his plea could still be brought up. 

Jocelyn "JoJo" Belcher was found dead Jan. 27, 2018, in the family's East Butler Street home. The cause of death was neck compression, and investigators said she had injuries consistent with abuse. 

Belcher, 30, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison. 

mleblanc@jg.net