12/17/12 On February 13, of this year, Anthony W. McNeal of LaPaz was charged with Neglect of a Dependent, a Class B felony, Criminal Recklessness, a Class D felony, and Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated causing serious bodily injury to another person, a Class D felony. It was alleged then that McNeal put his 2 ½ month old child into his motor vehicle and then, after expressing a desire to kill himself, intentionally placed the motor vehicle in the path of a semi-truck, south bound on US 31, south of LaPaz. A collision occurred and the child was seriously injured.
McNeal has been incarcerated in the Marshall County Jail since mid February after having been treated in a local hospital for injuries sustained in the collision. The child has recovered from his injuries.
On December 14, 2012, McNeal pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to Neglect of a Dependent, a Class B felony and Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Class D felony.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman argued for the maximum sentence allowed under the plea agreement, emphasizing the seriousness of the offense and the breach of trust a parent owes his own child. Defense attorney Tom A. Black argued for an extended suspended sentence and a lengthy probation period.
After evidence was submitted and arguments were made, Judge Robert O. Bowen of the Marshall Superior Court No. 1 sentenced McNeal to the maximum time allowed under the plea agreement for the charge of Neglect of a Dependent of 8 years imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Corrections. Bowen also sentenced McNeal to one year imprisonment on the charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated with a Controlled Substance. A two year drivers’ license suspension was also imposed. None of the sentence was suspended, and they were ordered to be served concurrently.