Mother accused of pouring hot chocolate on baby faces new abuse charge

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Ashley and Ronnie Neal - Montgomery County Regional Jail

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) –  A woman accused of pouring hot chocolate on her 10-month old foster child, causing severe burns, now faces new abuse charges in connection to the same child, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Ashley Neal and her husband Ronnie, both of Mount Sterling, are charged with criminal abuse.

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Police say the investigation began after the reported hot chocolate incident at a McDonald’s in Winchester in November.

In that case, police say security camera video from inside the fast food restaurant showed Neal walking with a baby carrier against her chest and intentionally pouring the liquid on the child with her right hand. She then appeared to seemingly stage a fall before bracing herself, according to investigators.

Officers say the hot chocolate was around 150-degrees and caused extreme burns to the baby’s face.



The baby was listed in serious condition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, according to published reports.

The arrest citation says the foster father had his back turned and did not see the incident.

According to police, when interviewed, Neal told investigators she couldn’t remember what happened at the McDonald’s.  She was arrested, but bonded out of jail the same day.

Deputies say the month-long investigation that followed showed the same foster child had sustained several injuries from abuse over multiple months.  Investigators say the Neal’s didn’t get medical treatment for the child and in most cases covered up the injuries to prevent others, including Social Services, from seeing and reporting the alleged abuse to Law Enforcement.