The same jury that found 28-year-old Sammantha Allen guilty of murdering her 10-year-old cousin sentenced Allen to death Monday.
The verdict was read in court just before noon. Allen becomes the third woman and 120th inmate on Arizona's Death Row.
Allen was found guilty in June of murdering her cousin, 10-year-old Ame Deal -- who died in 2011 after being locked inside a plastic box that was left outside in the Arizona summer. The child was put in the box as punishment for taking a popsicle.
The penalty phase of Allen's case lasted nearly a month as the jury listened to arguments from both sides. The defense attempting to paint a picture of Allen's upbringing as an uncontrollable factor that heavily impacted her as an adult.
Although she was sentenced to death, executions are on hold in Arizona because drugs for lethal injections aren’t available. The state hasn’t put a prisoner to death since the botched execution of Joseph Wood three years ago, which led to a lawsuit that shut down the state’s death chamber.
Allen's husband, John Allen, was also charged in the murder and is expected to go to trial sometime in August.
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