The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 9:24 am

Flight risk neglect suspect appears in court

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne man who police say "had no intentions of going to court" after pleading guilty last week to felony neglect in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter was in court this morning. 

There, Shane A. Patton, 32, said he wants to take back his guilty plea and asked a judge to let him out of jail. 

"I've showed up to everything," he said. "I'm not going to leave." 

That's not what he reportedly said Friday, after a hearing in Allen Superior Court in which he admitted to neglecting Jocelyn "JoJo" Belcher and several other children at an East Butler Street home last year. He had been free on bond, but that was revoked after Patton told a woman he was "going to run" rather than show up in court for another hearing in which a sentencing date would be set. 

A warrant was issued for his arrest, and Patton was taken into custody when he arrived this morning at the Allen County Courthouse. 

He will remain in custody at least until an Aug. 13 status hearing. 

JoJo was found dead in the home in January 2018, wrapped tight in a blanket. The Allen County coroner's office said the cause of death was neck compression. 

The girl's mother, Crystal Belcher, 30, also has pleaded guilty to felony neglect and faces up to three years in prison. She will be sentenced Friday.

Patton faces up to 16-years in prison, according to the plea agreement.

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