TAMPA — The mother of a two-year-old girl fatally beaten on March 8 has been charged with child neglect in the case.
Danielle McCleary, 23, called authorities when her daughter Gabrielle Randel couldn't breathe and didn't respond. She died a few hours later at Tampa General Hospital.
Deputies say McCleary's boyfriend, Kenneth G. Lopez, 21, admitted he wrapped the toddler in a towel and sheet, and struck her repeatedly. He is being held in Hillsborough County Jail on aggravated child abuse and first degree murder charges.
McCleary, of 1223 Windermere Way, Tampa, is charged with aggravated child neglect and aggravated manslaughter. Deputies say she witnessed the beating and did nothing to prevent it. She said she didn't act because she feared Lopez, deputies said.