Ame Deal Murder: Girl's Dad Is Second Family Member to Plead Guilty to Abuse

Categories: Convicted
David Deal
The outcomes are now known for charges against three of six family members accused of harming 10-year-old Ame Deal, who was murdered in Phoenix almost two years ago.

Ame's father, David Deal, pleaded guilty this morning to attempted child abuse and possession of marijuana, while the girl's aunt previously pleaded guilty to three charges, and charges were dropped against another family member, Ame's cousin Ammandea Stoltzmann.

See also:
-Ame Deal Murder: Aunt Pleads Guilty to Abuse, a Week After Charges Dropped Against Cousin
-"Hide-and-Seek" Suffocation Death of 10-Year-Old Ame Deal Ruled Homicide
-Police: Abuse of Ame Deal "Makes You Sick to Your Stomach"
-Ame Deal's Killers Indicted for First-Degree Murder
-Phoenix Police: David Deal Kept 10-Year-Old Ame Deal in a Dog Kennel

Murder charges are still pending against Ame's cousins, as is a child-abuse charge against her grandmother.

Even though David Deal and Ame's aunt Cynthia Stoltzmann haven't been sentenced, the outcomes of the charges in the three cases so far don't exactly scream "justice" for a 10-year-old girl who died after a lifetime of abuse, including being locked in a small footlocker, where she died, by family members as punishment for taking a popsicle without asking, according to police.

First, prosecutors from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said there wasn't enough evidence to go forward with the case against Ammandea Stoltzmann, although a probable-cause statement submitted by police says something else entirely.

She told police she started keeping Ame in a dog crate in 2005. She also made Ame crush aluminum cans while barefoot and forced the girl to sleep in a pan meant for a shower floor. Stoltzmann said she'd ruin Ame's meals by dousing it with hot sauce "so strong you couldn't bear to be close by or your eyes would burn and water."

Police said Stoltzmann admitted to watching another relative lock Ame in a footlocker twice -- the same footlocker where Ame eventually died.

Witnesses not identified in the court document were the ones who brought these things to the cops' attention, and they claimed Stoltzmann did more than she admitted to, including keeping Ame outside at night with a dog collar and chain, and scrubbing her face with a wire brush for lying.

Police said Stoltzmann initially denied hurting Ame, before conceding that some of the allegations were true.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office told New Times after the charges were dropped that he couldn't elaborate on the reasoning.

Late last week, Cynthia Stoltzmann pleaded guilty to two child-abuse charges, and one attempted child-abuse charge.

Although four of the seven charges against Stoltzmann were defined as Class 2 felonies, the three charges she pleaded guilty to in her agreement were several levels lower than that, i.e., she's facing a lot less prison time.

Now Ame's father, David Deal, has entered a guilty plea for attempted child abuse and marijuana possession.

According to witness accounts, Deal was the first person to keep Ame in confinement, starting with keeping his daughter locked in a dog kennel.

Police say Deal also locked Ame in a box, then tossed it in the backyard swimming pool.

Deal's reason for doing this, police say, was because Ame "kept crying and yelling she could not breathe during the confinement."

Deal denied to police that he'd abused his daughter, but a police said Deal described his own daughter as a "Pillsbury-Doughboy-looking thing and said her mental problems frustrated others."

One child-abuse charge is still pending against Ame's grandmother, Judith Deal, and first-degree murder charges are still pending against Ame's cousins, John and Samantha Allen, who locked Ame in the footlocker the night she died, according to police.

We'll have to wait and see if they get served with quote, justice, unquote, too.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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And we pay CPS for what exactly?


I suspect that the County Attorney's office either (1) can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt which on of the 6 family members actually put the child in the footlocker on the night she passed which is why they are having trouble obtaining more serious plea deals out of the individual family members, or (2) has obtained testimony against the other defedendants from the 2 that have already agreed to plea deals in exchange for the more lenient plea deals.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

All the defendants should receive "the max." The male defendants should be offered five years off their sentences if they agree to be castrated. Same for all the women of child-bearing age, all full hysterectomy.


@sarum We pay them to do an impossible job with insufficient funds, that's what. Most CPS caseworkers have twice the amount of clients on their caseload than what federal guidelines deem appropriate. It's an extremely stressed and broken system and most of the employees are doing their best with what limited resources they have. Recent budget cuts for mental health funding don't help, as CPS now has to manage many of the cases in which children have a serious mental illness. Maybe instead of blaming the people who bust their asses working in social services for a laughable salary, we should ask our legislators why Arizona's neglected and abused children are not a priority.


@eric.nelson745 Absolutely!  I add to your sentencing recommendations that the adult males be castrated by their fellow inmates in State Prison, on the exercise grounds. 

In addition to the hysterectomy, the adult females shall have their cooters sewed shut, just to be sure that no child shall ever enter their reproductive system.

All jurors who pass such sentences shall be given a free two week vacation somewhere beautiful, in the hopes that they can erase the filth that they had to endure throughout the trial.


@jbunny @sarum Don't give me that crap!  They know when they take the job what they are up against.  If they're  not up to it, then they need to say so and stop collecting the pay.  There are even many cases where they falsify records and claim they made visits to homes that never took place.  I don't care if they have to work 24/7.  Their job is to protect the children in their caseload and that's what they have to do--no excuses.

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