Sammantha Allen, the Phoenix woman convicted of murder for leaving her 10-year-old cousin to die in a padlocked storage box, has been sentenced to death.
Jurors deliberated for a week over whether there are mitigating factors that would allow Allen to avoid the death penalty and instead be sentenced to life in prison.
The verdict was read late Monday morning in Maricopa County Superior Court. Upon learning her fate, Allen hung her head and wept.
Allen becomes the third woman on Arizona death row.
She was convicted in June of murder and four counts of child abuse for her role in locking her cousin, Ame Deal, in a 31-inch-long footlocker overnight during triple-digit temperatures on July 11, 2011.
After stealing a frozen treat on a hot summer day, the child was forced into physical exertion, then padlocked inside a 31- by 14- by 12-inch footlocker and left overnight, court records say.
Ame was dead by the time someone went to let her out the next morning.
Allen’s husband, John Allen, also is charged with murder and child abuse. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 9.
Three other family members are in prison for their roles in the case. Judith Deal currently is serving a 10-year sentence for a child-abuse conviction. Cynthia Stoltzman, who was Ame’s legal guardian, is serving 24 years for child abuse in the case, and David Deal is serving 14 years for child abuse.
Case of Phoenix girl who died in footlocker
In addition to death, Judge Teresa Sanders sentenced Allen to 74 years of…
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