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PHOENIX, AZ – This is a wonderful update to a story I first reported on back in 2011. One of the women responsible for the death of 10-year-old Ame Deal was just handed the death sentence.

For those of you who may not know of Ame and her horrific death, she was one of a dozen children living in a three-bedroom house with 10 adults.

These adults included Ame’s father, David Deal, her grandmother, Judith Deal, her aunt and legal guardian, Cynthia Stoltzmann,  Stoltzmann’s daughter, Sammantha, and Sammantha’s husband, John Allen.

If you want to get a more in-depth overview of Ame’s fucked up family dynamics, I suggest checking out the Wikipedia article on her murder. Honestly, it’s too much of a mess for me to type out and not the point of this article.

Anyway, all of the kids in the home were abused and neglected in some fashion, but Ame reportedly took the brunt of it. She was beaten, forced to crush aluminum cans barefoot, drink hot sauce, and was even once forced to eat dog shit. Neighbors would say they suspected the children were being abused but never called police in fear of breaking up the family.

But all of that abuse came to an end back in July 2011, when Ame got into trouble for stealing a popsicle. As punishment for such a heinous offense, Sammantha and John forced Ame to perform backbends and run around in 103 degree temperatures before padlocking her inside a plastic storage container.

Ame Deal

The four-foot tall girl remained squeezed inside the 14-inch wide container and left outside in the heat while the rest of the family slept. When John opened the container seven hours later, Ame was dead.

The family tried covering their asses by concocting a story that involved Ame getting into the box during a late-night game of hide and seek. There was even a video of Stoltzmann telling a reporter what a great hider Ame was.

The family’s lie was quickly exposed by investigators after getting the real story from some people who were living in tents in the backyard of the home. Ame’s condition when she was found also didn’t line up with the family’s hide-and-seek story — she had soiled herself and had marks on her right knee caused by her trying to force open the container’s padlocked lid.

Both Sammantha and John Allen were arrested and charged with first degree murder. Deal and Stoltzmann were arrested for child abuse and kidnapping because they admitted to also putting Ame in the container for punishment on previous occasions.

David Deal would plead guilty to attempted child abuse in 2013 and was sentenced to 14 years. Cynthia Stoltzmann is serving a 24-year prison sentence for a child abuse conviction while Judith Deal is serving a 10-year sentenced for attempted child abuse.

Samantha Allen was convicted of first-degree murder and four counts of child abuse on June 26. Today, she became the 55th woman on death row in the U.S. after a jury handed her a death sentence. Which was great timing in this case, seeing as Arizona only resumed executions earlier this summer after settling a lawsuit that challenged the way the state carries out the death penalty.

Her husband’s trial is scheduled to start October 9 and he is also facing the death penalty. I am keeping my fingers crossed that his fate echoes his wife’s, and that I will more good news to report on my favorite month of the year.

 

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