Man, mother-in-law sentenced in malnutrition death of Lauren McConniel

Prosecutors: Girl starved, abused

MUNCIE, Ind. - A central Indiana judge has sentenced a man and his former mother-in-law to prison for neglect and abuse in the malnutrition death of the man's daughter.

The Star Press reported ( ) that Ryan McConniel, 36, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for the death of his 5-year-old daughter, Lauren.

Delaware County prosecutors said the girl was starved and abused in 2010, mostly by McConniel's then-wife and her relatives.

McConniel pleaded guilty to a neglect charge and gave authorities statements needed to convict his ex-wife and some of her relatives.

McConniel's former mother-in-law from his second marriage, Angela Lee, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison.

The girl's mother lost custody of Lauren to McConniel in 2009 after a court hearing for which she didn't have a lawyer.

The girl endured months of abuse before her death, authorities said. Police reports indicated that McConniel and the girl's stepmother told authorities doctors were treating the child but that she wasn't receiving treatment.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the McConniels told authorities that the girl would store food in her cheeks, mutilate her toys, bite herself and her siblings to the point of bleeding and that she stared at the wall saying, "I hate myself."

The stepmother, Brittany McConniel, was convicted of neglect of a dependent causing death in 2011.

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