Father of girl shut in box pleads guilty to attempted abuse - WNEM TV 5

Father of girl shut in box pleads guilty to attempted abuse

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David Deal. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) David Deal. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

The father of a 10-year-old Phoenix girl who authorities said died after another relative padlocked her in a footlocker pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted child abuse in a plea deal accepted by Judge Susanna Pineda.

David Martin Deal, 53, originally faced a charge of child abuse for either causing or allowing his daughter, Ame Deal, to be thrown into a pool while she was locked inside the footlocker.

He was is accused of putting the child in the plastic box as a form of punishment.

He also pleaded guilty to a felony marijuana possession charge and was sentenced to probation, a $750 fine and 24 hours of community service.

David Deal wasn't charged in his daughter's death. Ame Deal was found dead on July 12, 2011, inside the footlocker.

He denied the child abuse allegation against him and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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

Two other Deal relatives are charged with first-degree murder in the child's death.

David Deal will be sentenced June 6 by Pineda.

The attempted child abuse charge carries a jail sentence of between five and 15 years and he could face lifelong probation and a $150,000.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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