Apr 24, 2013 1:44 PM

Father of Ariz. girl pleads guilty to abuse charge

PHOENIX - The father of a 10-year-old Arizona girl who authorities say died after another relative padlocked her in a footlocker has pleaded guilty to an attempted child abuse charge.

David Martin Deal, 53, isn't charged in the July 2011 death of his daughter Ame Deal, but admitted in court Wednesday to putting her into the plastic box and throwing the box into a pool on another occasion.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Susanna Pineda asked Deal whether the allegations against him were true.

Deal answered yes.

He faces up to 16 years in prison for guilty pleas to attempted child abuse and marijuana possession charges.

Authorities say Ame Deal died after a man who's married to the girl's cousin padlocked her in the footlocker as discipline for having stolen popsicles.


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