Phoenix woman given death sentence for fatally locking young girl in box

Sammantha Allen update: PHX woman sentenced to death for Ame Deal murder

A Phoenix woman was sentenced to death Monday after she punished her 10-year-old cousin for stealing an ice pop by locking the young girl in a box where she suffocated and died - the culmination of years of abuse in which the girl was forced to eat feces and endured countless beatings.

Sammantha Allen sentenced death: pictured Ame Deal the then ten year old Arizona cousin, that Allen had been found guilty of murdering.

The defense claimed that her upbringing was a factor in her role in Ame's death.

Sammantha Allen, 28, is the third woman to be sentenced to death in Arizona after being found guilty of murder and four counts of child abuse in June. Maricopa County Deputy County Attorney Jeannette Gallagher told jurors the bin only had small holes near the handles for air.

Police said that before she was locked in the box, Ame was told to do back bends for two hours and run in the yard while temperatures reached more than 103 degrees.

"There never was intention on killing her", Allen said in her statement to police, which was videotaped. "It was all about what was going to happen to her", stated a juror.

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John Allen's trial began this week. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. She also was kicked in the face, beaten with a wooden paddle and forcibly dunked after being thrown in a cold swimming pool, investigators said. Deal lived with at least 10 adults and children in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in south Phoenix. They then fell asleep, AZ Central reported.

The children would roam the streets outside the home until the early hours and they often had little or no clothes on, sometimes wearing no diaper or shoes, they said.

Three other relatives were also convicted of abusing Ame and are now in prison. Cynthia Stoltzman, Ame's legal guardian, was sentenced to 24 years for child abuse. Ame's grandmother, Judith Deal, is serving a 10-year sentenced for attempted child abuse.

Another juror added: "I think the hardest thing for all of us was the victim and learning about what her life really entailed and the years of abuse that she suffered".

Ame was dead by the time someone went to let her out the next morning. "I was looking for something from her".

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