NO PRISON FOR 1976 TODDLER'S DEATH

Date: 1995-01-13

PEKIN - A former Tazewell County woman, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 1976 death of her adopted daughter, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service.

Victoria Neal pleaded guilty to the charge in October. In exchange for that plea, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against her that could have sent her to prison for 14 years.

Prosecutors sought an unspecified prison sentence Thursday, but Judge Robert Cashen disagreed. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Neal was charged in late 1993 after she made incriminating statements to a California social worker about the death of Danielle Neal, 2. Neal was living in Irvine, Calif., at the time.

The girl was injured in August 1976 at a residence in what now is Morton. The home was owned by friends of Neal and her husband. The girl died three days later at Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

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