Neighbors says sentence in Prince case 'fitting for the crime'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The mother of a 10-year-old Kansas City girl found locked in a closet and severely malnourished pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Jacole Prince reached a plea agreement to not serve more than 20 years for charges of assault, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

A friend and neighbor of Prince's, Dorothy "Peaches" Burrell reacted to the decision saying it was "fitting for the crime."

She lived in the same apartment complex as Prince. She had no idea the girl known as "LP" lived there as well.

Family Services found her in June 2012 weighing just 32 pounds and living in her own feces. Records show LP was locked in a closet on and off since 2007.

Since that day in June, things in the apartment complex changed.

"Mostly it just made us more aware of what goes on behind doors. Everything that look good ain't (sic) good. Something could be going on. It makes us pay attention more to what's going on in our community," Burrell said.

Prince could serve up to 20 years. It's time that neighbors hope changes her.

"As far as her personal stuff I think it will give her time to get herself together and really think about what she did and just try to do things different," Burrell said.

LP had to receive a heart transplant in 2013 in part due to the abuse and malnourishment but Burrell said she is growing and a happy child now.

Prince is scheduled to be sentenced April 25.

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