Apr 24, 2013 9:12 AM
PHOENIX (AP) - The father of a 10-year-old Arizona girl who authorities say died after another relative padlocked her in a footlocker is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing in Phoenix Wednesday on a charge that he abused the child.
Fifty-three-year-old David Martin Deal faces a felony child abuse charge for either causing or allowing his daughter Ame Deal to be thrown into a pool while she was locked inside the footlocker.
He also is accused of putting the child in the plastic box as a form of punishment.
David Deal isn't charged in his daughter's death.
He has denied the allegation against him and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The child's aunt has already pleaded guilty to abuse charges.
Two other Deal relatives are charged with first-degree murder in the child's death.