PHOENIX, AZ (August 10, 2011) – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announces the indictment of four adult relatives of 10 year-old Ame Deal, who died after being locked inside a plastic storage box. Named in a Maricopa County Grand Jury indictment are Ame’s cousins, John M. Allen (D.O.B. 7/19/88) and Samanthea L. Allen (D.O.B. 6/14/88), each of whom is charged with First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Child Abuse and multiple counts of Child Abuse. Ame’s grandmother, Judith C. Deal (D.O.B. 12/5/38) and Ame’s aunt, Cynthia Stoltzmann (D.O.B. 6/15/67), are each charged with multiple counts of Child Abuse.
“This horrific case has deeply disturbed not only the citizens of Maricopa County, but people throughout the country as it offends the essence of what it means to be a parent or guardian of a young child,” said Montgomery. “Instead of caring for Ame Deal, we are alleging that these family members utterly failed her. My office will spare no effort in seeking justice for Ame and ensuring the public has confidence in the result,” he added.
On July 11, 2011, while his wife Samantha stood by and watched, John Allen allegedly locked Ame in a storage box as a punishment. Allen and the other adults in the household then went to sleep and Ame died in the box. Her death was originally reported as a tragic accident resulting from a game of hide-and-seek. Phoenix Police investigators later determined that this incident was the latest in a long history of abusive acts perpetrated on Ame by the four defendants.
John and Samanthea Allen are currently in custody on a $1 million cash bond. Judith Deal and Cynthia Stoltzmann are held on a $500,000 cash bond. All four defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on August 17, 2011.