Indianapolis mother sentenced in three-year-old daughter's death

Samantha Ellis
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An Indianapolis woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the death of her young daughter.

Samantha Ellis will also serve a probation period of ten years once she is released. Ellis' former boyfriend, Jose Cruz, was sentenced to 75 years in prison in the death of three-year-old Carmen Ellis. Cruz pleaded guilty in the girl's 2012 beating death in October 2013.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement in which Ellis pleaded guilty to Neglect of Dependent Resulting in Death (A Felony) for failing to obtain timely medical treatment for Carmen and failing to remove the child from the presence of Cruz.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said it was important for both Cruz and Ellis to be held responsible for the child's death.

"Carmen's life must not be forgotten, and her death should serve as a reminder to parents and anyone else who has the responsibility for protecting a child that there is no justification for leaving a child with a person who is any way suspected of harming that child. Nothing should rise above a child's right to be safe in his or her own home," said Curry.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Jose Cruz brutally beat the girl, including causing blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen. Carmen was found with bruises and other injuries, in various stages of healing, over her entire body.

Suspected child abuse can be reported by calling 911 or to Indiana's Child Protective Services toll-free hotline at 1-800-800-5556.