Crime

Woman kills 10-year-old cousin for allegedly stealing lolly pop

A 28-year-old woman has been convicted of killing a 10-year-old girl whom she stuffed in a box.

She was consequently sentenced to death following her conviction.

The woman, identified as Sammantha Allen, is the third woman to be sentenced to death in Arizona, United States of America, after being found guilty of murder and four counts of child abuse.

She wept as the judge read out her sentence.

“Lack of remorse was the biggest thing that played into it for us, that we didn’t see that from Sammantha throughout the whole process,” juror Anne Schaad said.

She and husband her husband, John Allen, locked her 10-year-old cousin, Ame Deal, into a plastic storage box and left her outside overnight as punishment for stealing an ice lolly in July 2011.

The couple forced Ame to do backbends and run around outside in 39C heat before they padlocked her into the box.

The youngster, who was 4ft 2ins tall, suffocated inside the box as the Allens slept.

It was just 14 inches wide with two small air holes, the juror heard.

When they opened the box six or seven hours later, she was dead.

She had marks on her knee caused by “forceful contact” with the box’s lid, according to police.

Sammantha said she thought her husband would have let Ame out of the box before he went to bed.

In her police statement, Sammantha said: “There never was intention on killing her. He (her husband) said he was going to get her out.”

Allens’ trial is due to start on October 8. He has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse, and faces the death penalty as well.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities said 10-year-old Ame’s death was the culmination of a history of abuse she faced at the hands of her relatives.

She was one of at least 12 children being brought up in a three-bedroom house with at least 10 adults.

Three other relatives are in prison serving time for abusing the youngster.

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