An Arizona woman who was previously found guilty of murder in the death of her cousin, who suffocated while locked in an old trunk, has been sentenced to death.
Sammantha Allen, 29, was accused of locking 10-year-old Ame Deal, in the trunk in triple-digit Phoenix heat back in 2011. It was punishment, prosecutors argued, for the girl's theft of an ice pop.
"We the jury duly impaneled and sworn in the above entitled actions upon our oaths having considered all the facts and circumstances unanimously find that the defendant should be sentenced to death," the jury representative read as Allen sobbed.
A jury earlier this year found that Allen knew her husband, John Allen, had allegedly put Deal in the foot locker and padlocked it on a hot June day.
"[John Allen] said he remembered times where [Ame] spent times in the box overnight and survived," Allen said during videotaped statements to Phoenix police.
But Ame suffocated in the 31-by-14-by-12 inch box, which only had small air holes near its handles, and was found dead the next day, authorities said.
"There never was intention on killing her," Allen said in the video. “He [John Allen] said he was going to get her out."
In addition to first-degree murder, Allen was found guilty of child abuse, intentional or knowing child abuse and negligent child abuse.
John Allen is set to face trial on Oct. 9. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Three other relatives were also convicted of abusing Ame and are currently in prison.