A lawyer for a Phoenix woman convicted in the killing of a 10-year-old cousin who was padlocked for hours in a plastic storage box pleaded with jurors not to sentence her to death.
Attorney John Curry says Sammantha Allen grew up in a dysfunctional household where corporal punishment was accepted and where adults treated the victim more harshly than other children living there.
Curry is seeking a life prison sentence against Allen in the 2011 death of Ame Deal.
Authorities say Allen and her husband made Ame get into the box as punishment for having stolen an ice pop and fell asleep without letting her out.
Prosecutors declined to make an opening statement Monday during the trial's penalty phase, but may do so later in the case.