A woman identified as Samantha Allen has been sentenced to death in the killing of her 10-year-old cousin who was locked in a small plastic storage box and left to die.
The 29-year-old woman from Phoenix, Arizona got the verdict on Monday.
The jury reached the verdict after Sammantha Allen was convicted in June of first-degree murder and four counts of child abuse in the 2011 killing of Ame Deal, who was punished for stealing an ice pop.
Allen held her head in her hand and wept as the verdict was read and later cried and hugged her attorneys before she was led out of the courtroom, San Francisco Chronicles reported.
“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 told KTVK-TV.
Allen will become the 55th woman condemned to die in the United States. There are only two other women on death row in Arizona, which is among the states struggling to buy execution drugs after pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products in lethal injections.
In Allen’s case, authorities said she and her husband are responsible for making Ame get into the box, where she was left and found dead six or seven hours later.
The authorities said the girl died as a result of a long history of abuse.
The late 10-year-old was forced to eat dog faeces, crush aluminium cans barefoot, consume hot sauce and get in the storage box on other occasions. She also was kicked in the face, beaten with a wooden paddle and forcibly dunked after being thrown into a cold swimming pool, investigators revealed to the court.
Adults at the home originally claimed Ame hid during a late-night game of hide-and-seek and wasn’t found until hours later.
Three other relatives are in prison serving sentences for abusing Ame.
Allen’s husband, John Allen, 29, is scheduled to go on trial October 9. He’s has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and child abuse and also faces the death penalty.
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