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Woman sentenced to death after knowing 10-year-old cousin was locked in storage box, then suffocated 

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ARIZONA – A woman who was found guilty in the 2011 murder of her 10-year-old cousin has been sentenced to death.

Sammantha Allen, 29, was accused of locking her 10-year-old cousin, Ame Deal, in a plastic storage box in triple digit heat as a form of punishment, after the girl allegedly stole an ice pop.

Sammantha Allen

Earlier this year, a jury found out that Allen knew her husband, John Allen, had put Ame in a plastic storage box with a padlock on it on a hot June day.

Inside Edition reports Ame was found dead the next day in the 31-by-14-by-12 inch box, with only small air holes near the handles. Officials say she had suffocated.

“[John Allen] said he remembered times where [Ame] spent times in the box overnight and survived,” Allen said told police in videotaped statements. “There never was intention on killing her. He [John Allen] said he was going to get her out.”

Along with first-degree murder, Allen was also found guilty of child abuse, intentional or knowing child abuse and negligent child abuse.

John Allen has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. His trial is set for October 9.

Three other relatives, who were also convicted of abusing Ame, are currently in prison.