The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 1:00 am

Guilty of neglect, man still at large

Police seek tips, say he hoped to skip court

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Police are still looking for a Fort Wayne man who fled Friday after pleading guilty to felony neglect in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter. 

Shane A. Patton, 32, faces up to 16 years in prison, and police say he told a woman after a court hearing last week he “had no intentions of going to court” today for a hearing at which a sentencing date was to be scheduled. 

A Fort Wayne police detective told an Allen County judge that Patton “wanted to run to Canada or Omaha and make all this go away,” according to court documents. 

A warrant was issued for Patton's arrest. He had not been arrested as of late Monday afternoon. 

Patton was charged with three counts of felony neglect after Jocelyn “JoJo” Belcher was found dead Jan. 27, 2018, inside the family's East Butler Street home. He pleaded guilty to two of the counts Friday, and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the third charge. 

The girl's mother, Crystal Belcher, pleaded guilty in March to felony neglect and faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced Friday. 

Anyone with information about Patton can call the Fort Wayne Police Department at 427-1222.

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