Indianapolis man accused of killing 3-year-old girl faces life without parole

Jose Cruz, 20, accused of fatally beating toddler

INDIANAPOLIS - A man accused in the death of a three-year-girl could be sentenced to life in prison without parole, Marion County prosecutors said.

Jose Cruz, 20, was arrested on murder charges after Carmen Ellis was found unresponsive and covered in bruises when police were called to the Spanish Oak Apartments on the city's east side last month.

According to the probable cause report, Ellis had soiled herself, prompting her mother's boyfriend, Cruz, to grab her head, shake her and throw her into a TV.

The girl's mother, Samantha Ellis, 23, was also in the apartment with her daughter and infant son at the time police were called, investigators said.

Ellis told police she knew Cruz had beaten her daughter and other children with a belt and refused to talk about the girl's bruises with family members, the report revealed.

“Following our established procedure, this office made a careful and deliberate decision in requesting a life sentence without parole for Jose Cruz,” prosecutor Terry Curry said.

The next court appearance scheduled for Cruz is his life without parole initial hearing on October 24.

Ellis was being held at the Marion County Jail. 

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