A 2011 murder case of a 10-year-old girl suffocating from being locked with a padlock in a plastic box came to trial Monday afternoon after the prosecutor and defense attorney gave their opening statements.
Samantha Allen lied to police multiple times while they were interrogating her in connection to the death of her niece, Ame Deal, prosecutor Jeannette Gallagher said.
Allen is charged with one count of 1st degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit child abuse, and three separate counts of child abuse.
Not alone in the crime, Gallagher was quick to reference that Allen had helped her husband accomplice John Allen.
Ame Deal was found dead in a plastic box on a mid-July morning in 2011 after officers responded to a 9-1-1 call on July 12.
In her story to police, Gallagher said, “Allen lied to police multiple times, until they detailed exactly what transpired step-by-step, and then she remembered.”
John Curry, defense attorney, said in his opening statement that Allen, “lied and lied and lied.”
Speaking directly to the jury, Curry said that it is his job to just disprove one of the charges, and that will set his case.
Judge Teresa Sanders said to the jury prior to the opening statements that the defendant, “Samantha Allen has pleaded not guilty to all counts.”
Curry said that although his client, Allen, did not commit the crimes she has been charged of, it is important to not let any outside influence affect the juror’s decisions.
Brought to the stand by the state, retired Maricopa County Police officer Albert Salaiz confirmed what the state introduced to the jury after responding to the original 9-1-1 call.
The trial is set out for 24 trial days, Monday’s being the first.