APLocal News

Woman gets 35-year sentence in death of stepson, 9

(Supplied/Allen County Jail)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A Fort Wayne woman who pleaded guilty to three felony charges in the beating death of her 9-year-old stepson has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Alesha Lynn Miller, 31, pleaded guilty in October to aggravated battery and two counts of neglect of a dependent. A third neglect of a dependent count was dropped under her plea agreement.

On Tuesday, an Allen County judge accepted Miller’s plea deal and sentenced her to the 35-year prison sentence that it called for, The Journal Gazette reported.

Miller and her wife, Jenna Miller, 37, brought Elijah Thomas Ross to a Fort Wayne hospital early on Dec. 18, 2021, but he was pronounced dead within an hour despite lifesaving measures.

Allen County’s coroner ruled Elijah’s death a homicide and determined that the boy died from multiple blunt-force injuries, including a traumatic brain injury caused by a buildup of blood.

Alesha and Jenna Miller initially told police in separate interviews that they were at a company Christmas party when they received a call about a fight between Elijah and an older brother. But Jenna Miller later told police that her wife beat Elijah with a wooden paddle while holding him down with her legs.

Jenna Miller pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of neglect of a dependent in her son’s death. Her plea agreement calls for a 20-year prison sentence. Her sentencing is set for Jan. 6.

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