Father of Phoenix girl who died in footlocker sentenced for abuse

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David Deal By Jennifer Thomas David Deal By Jennifer Thomas
Ame Deal By Jennifer Thomas Ame Deal By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The father of a 10-year-old Phoenix girl who authorities said died after another relative padlocked her in a footlocker has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted child abuse.

David Martin Deal also was sentenced Thursday to three years of probation for possession of marijuana.

Deal isn't charged in the July 2011 death of his daughter, Ame, but he had admitted putting her into a footlocker and throwing it into a pool about a year before her death.

The girl's aunt and legal guardian, Cynthia Stoltzmann, was also set to be sentenced after pleading guilty to two abuse charges, but her hearing was delayed until July 24. Ame's grandmother, Judith Deal, is scheduled to be sentenced on attempted child abuse charges the same day.

Authorities said Ame died after John Allen, who is married to the child's cousin, padlocked her in the footlocker as discipline for taking a Popsicle without asking. She was left in the plastic container all night and was found dead the next morning.

John and Sammantha Allen pleaded not guilty to murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against them.