Man sentenced to 75 years in fatal beating of girl, 3

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INDIANAPOLIS – A man who fatally beat the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend was sentenced to 75 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

Last month, Jose Cruz settled on a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty murder and aggravated battery. Three-year-old Carmen Ellis died as a result of injuries inflicted by Cruz during a beating in August 2012. Prosecutors said the aggravated battery charge stems from an earlier assault on the little girl.

Cruz told police he was angry that Carmen had soiled her diaper. A month before she was killed, a neighbor called police about possible bite marks on the child’s body.

Cruz’s sentence includes 65 years on the murder charge and 10 years for the battery.

The case against the girl’s mother, Samantha Ellis, is pending. She’s charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death for failing to get timely medical treatment for Carmen or failing to keep Carmen out of Cruz’s presence. Those actions, prosecutors say, led to the girl’s death.

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