Ame Deal murder trial: Sammantha Allen found guilty of first-degree murder

Sammantha Allen has been found guilty of first-degree murder for the dead of her cousin, 10-year-old Ame Deal.

Sammantha Allen has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the Ame Deal murder trial.

Prosecutors argued Allen helped her husband, John Allen, lock 10-year-old Ame Deal in a plastic box overnight.

Deal died of suffocation and heat inside the box which was left outside in the middle of July in 2011 as temperatures surpassed 100 degrees.

The trial started two weeks ago, and a verdict was announced Monday at 1:30 p.m.

In open statements, prosecutors said Deal was locked in the box as punishment for taking a popsicle without asking. 

The defense argued Sammantha Allen was guilty of child abuse, but she was not guilty of murder further arguing the form of punishment was commonplace in the house and done at the request of Deal's legal guardian.

RELATED: Ame Deal's murder case: 'I lied about finding the body'

According to the Associated Press, authorities had said Deal's death came after a long history of abuse by multiple relatives.

Deal's father, David Deal, previously pleaded guilty to attempted child abuse and was sentenced to jail. Her grandmother Judith Deal was also sentenced to jail time for her role in the abuse. Deal's aunt Cynthia Stoltzmann was sentenced to 25 years in jail for attempted child abuse. 

John Allen was also charged with first-degree murder and child abuse.

His trial is expected to start in August. Prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty in that case.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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