Trial in death of Phoenix girl locked in box goes to jury

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John Allen, left, and Ame Deal, right. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) John Allen, left, and Ame Deal, right. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
John Allen. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) John Allen. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
A clearly distraught Sammantha Allen talks with her attorney after being sentenced to death on Monday. (Source: Pool) A clearly distraught Sammantha Allen talks with her attorney after being sentenced to death on Monday. (Source: Pool)
Ame Deal, 10, was found dead inside a padlocked plastic storage box in 2011. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) Ame Deal, 10, was found dead inside a padlocked plastic storage box in 2011. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
PHOENIX (AP) -

The trial of a Phoenix man accused of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of a 10-year-old relative is now in the hands of a Maricopa County Superior Court jury.

In closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutors told jurors that 29-year-old John Allen crammed Ame (AY-me) Deal inside a small plastic storage box as punishment and could have saved her from dying but chose to go to sleep instead.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Child locked in box trial]

The girl was found dead in the box the following morning.

Allen is facing charges of first-degree murder, child abuse and conspiracy to commit child abuse.

If convicted, he could receive the death penalty.

Allen's 28-year-old wife Sammantha Allen is Deal's cousin. She was convicted of murder and child abuse in the case in June and now is on Arizona's death row.

[READ MORE: Sammantha Allen sentenced to death for locking girl in box]

[RELATED: Phoenix woman convicted in cousin's death eligible for death penalty]

[READ MORE: Phoenix woman found guilty in death of girl locked in box]

[RELATED: 'Hide-and-seek' death ruled a homicide; 4 arrested (July 2011)]

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