PHOENIX (AP) – The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the murder and death sentence of a woman convicted of suffocating her 10-year-old cousin in a plastic storage box as punishment in 2011. was left to die.
In a ruling Tuesday, jurors rejected Samantha Allen’s claims that prosecutors had wrongly suggested she was the person who killed M. Dale and that Allen’s husband should punish the child. was fully responsible.
Amy was ordered into the box because she stole an ice pop. Allen and her husband, John Allen, went to sleep and found out the next morning that the baby had died.
The court heard that Samantha Allen not only failed to provide aid to her dying relative, but also contributed to the punishment and her failure to release him from the container that led to Amy’s life.
“Describing Samantha’s actions as mere presence or a minor failure to render assistance in a life-threatening situation misrepresents the facts,” the judges wrote.
While the court upheld all of Allen’s convictions in M’s death, his two-year sentence for one of the four counts of child abuse was thrown out after prosecutors admitted that it was too harsh a sentence. were less than the number of growth factors required for He will face resentencing on one of the child abuse convictions.
Two years ago, the Supreme Court upheld John Allen’s convictions and death sentence.
Authorities said the 10-year-old girl’s death was the cruel culmination of a history of abuse that a handful of relatives piled on their Phoenix home.
Investigators say Amy was forced to eat dog feces, crush aluminum cans with her bare feet and eat hot sauce. He was kicked in the face, beaten with a wooden paddle and forcibly stung after being thrown into a cold swimming pool.
He was forced into a plastic box on other occasions. The box was less than 3 feet (91 cm) long, less than 1 foot (30 cm) wide and one foot (30 cm) deep. Emme was about 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and weighed about 60 pounds (27 kg).
Authorities say Ami was treated more harshly than other children at home, and was labeled a liar and a thief by her family members.
Three other relatives, including an aunt who served as Amy’s legal guardian, were sentenced to prison for abusing the girl.
Child welfare officials in Arizona said they had received no reports of abuse before her death. Child welfare reports from Utah, where the family lived before moving to Phoenix, listed Ame as an abused child, police said.
Amy’s mother left the family several years ago after experiencing abuse from relatives and moved to Kansas without taking her daughter. David Dale, who is listed as Amy’s father on her birth certificate, is serving a 14-year sentence after pleading guilty to attempted child abuse.
Amy’s legal guardian at the time of her death was her aunt Cynthia Stoltzman, who is serving a 24-year sentence for child abuse. Amy’s grandmother, Judith Dale, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for child abuse.
Samantha and John Allen were the only people charged with M’s death.