Phoenix man pleads not guilty in child abuse case

July 16, 2012 - 5:36 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix man accused of putting his 10-year-old daughter inside a padlocked footlocker for punishment has pleaded not guilty to felony child abuse charges.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 52-year-old David Deal entered his plea Monday. His next scheduled court date is Aug. 30.

Deal was taken into custody July 9 after being indicted by a county grand jury.

Phoenix police say his daughter Ame Deal died July 12, 2011, after being placed inside a padlocked, plastic footlocker for punishment.

Prosecutors claim David Deal locked his young daughter in the trunk on several occasions between December 2010 and July 2011.

His arrest marked the sixth person to be taken into custody in the case. The girl's cousins, aunts and grandmother have also been charged.