Dad pleads guilty in abuse of Ariz. girl who died

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

Fifty-three-year-old David Martin Deal isn’t charged in the July 2011 death of his daughter Ame Deal. But he admitted Wednesday to putting her into the plastic box and throwing the box into a pool on another occasion.

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.

The child’s aunt has already pleaded guilty to abuse charges.

Two others are charged with first-degree murder.

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