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Phoenix man found guilty in death of girl locked in box - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Phoenix man found guilty in death of girl locked in box

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PHOENIX (AP) - A jury has convicted a Phoenix man in the 2011 death of a 10-year-old girl who was locked in a storage box.

After deliberating for a day, jurors found 29-year-old John Michael Allen guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and child abuse in the killing of Ame Deal.

The jury must now determine whether the killing was especially cruel or heinous before moving onto the sentencing phase, which could include the death penalty.

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

Authorities say the couple forced Ame into the small, plastic box as punishment for stealing ice pops. They then went to sleep.

The girl was found dead the next morning.

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