Woman receives death sentence for locking cousin, 10, in footlocker, killing her

A stolen frozen treat has left a 10-year-old girl dead and one of the adults who were tasked to take care of the child sentenced to death row, responsible for her killing.

AZ Central reported that Sammantha Allen was one of four family members who forced Ame Deal to exercise in high heat, then locked her in a footlocker that measured only 31 inches and was left outside overnight. She was found dead the next morning when they went to let her out of the box, which had only small holes near the handles for air, ABC15 reported.

It happened in July 2011, ABC15 reported.

Explore>> Read more trending news

John Allen, Sammantha's husband, admitted that he locked the girl in the box as Sammantha watched. They then fell asleep, AZ Central reported.

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.

Ame had been locked in the box before for wetting the bed and other offenses, police said.

Sammantha was found guilty in June but the penalty phase lasted a month. The defense claimed that her upbringing was a factor in her role in Ame's death. Sammantha's husband was also charged with Ame's murder and will go on trial later this year, KPNX reported.

Two other family members are in jail for their parts in the girl's death. Judith Deal was sentenced to 10 years for child abuse. Cynthia Stoltzman, Ame's legal guardian, was sentenced to 24 years for child abuse. David Deal was sentenced to 14 years, AZ Central reported.

In addition to the death sentence for murder, Sammantha was also sentenced to an additional 76 years for other charges, but was given credit for 2,000 days she's already spent in custody, AZ Central reported.

Executions have been suspended in Arizona due to the fact that the drugs used for lethal injections are not available, KPNX reported. The last attempt at execution in the state was in 2014, when Joseph Wood was put to death. The execution was expected to take 10 minutes but was drawn out for nearly 2 hours, ABC News reported at the time

About the Author