The Journal Gazette
Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:00 am

Prosecutors try to pull mom's bail

Say woman charged in death of her child flouts court orders

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Allen County prosecutors want a New Haven woman charged in the January death of her 2-year-old daughter behind bars.

Crystal M. Belcher, 29, posted $60,000 bond in May, after she was charged with two counts of felony neglect in the death of Jocelyn “JoJo” Belcher.

A petition to revoke her bond and send her back to the Allen County Jail filed by prosecutors Thursday says Belcher violated a no-contact order and tried to violate another. The orders were issued in April, according to court records.

“The defendant has demonstrated an instability and a disdain for the court's authority to bring her to trial,” says the document signed by Allen County deputy prosecutors Patricia Pikel and Brent Ecenbarger.

A hearing on the petition – which does not provide details about the alleged violation and attempted violation – is scheduled for Tuesday in Allen Superior Court.

Emergency crews were called the morning of Jan. 27 to a home on East Butler Street, where the girl was found tangled in a blanket. The toddler had been dead for at least two hours, and doctors told investigators they found injuries that had healed but were consistent with abuse.

Belcher was charged in April, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of her boyfriend, Shane A. Patton, 32, who also is charged with neglect in JoJo's death. He has not been arrested.

Belcher's attorney filed documents last week saying she was denied an attorney for hours during questioning from police and felt pressured by investigators to sign paperwork allowing them to search her property.

Police also did not read Belcher her Miranda rights, according to the motion to suppress evidence. A judge has not ruled on the request to suppress her statements to police.

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