Mother of beaten Fort Wayne boy sentenced to prison

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – The mother of a 9-year-old boy who was killed by his stepmother in December 2021 was sentenced to prison Friday morning. A judge handed Jenna Miller a 20-year sentence in connection with the death of her son Elijah Ross.

Miller accepted a plea deal back in November. Her wife Alesha Miller was sentenced in November to 35 years in prison for aggravated assault and two counts of neglect of a loved one. A third neglect of a dependent count was dropped under their grievance agreement.

Mugshots of Jenna Miller (left) and Alesha Miller (right) are accompanied by a photo of Elijah Ross.

The beatings began on Dec. 17, 2021, after Jenna and Alesha returned from a Christmas party, according to information obtained from court documents. They got a call that the boys were fighting, they said. Alesha Miller kept hitting Elijah with a broken wooden paddle. Police said they found a belt nearby that may also have been used in the beating, court documents say.

After midnight, Elijah was barely conscious when the two women carried him upstairs and attempted to revive him in the shower. At this point he could still speak softly. According to court records, he squeezed his mother’s arm and said “Mom.”

When it became apparent that he needed urgent medical attention, the two women wheeled him into Alesha’s white Jeep and took him to downtown St. Joseph Hospital. The receptionist described Elijah’s body as “cold and limp” with the onset of rigor mortis.

The courtroom was filled with family, friends, and children’s advocates, and Elijah’s teacher at Franke Park Elementary School described the boy as bright, caring, and a student who excelled in reading and arithmetic.

Elijah’s second cousin spoke after the sentencing and expressed her disappointment.

At the time of Alesha Miller’s sentencing, Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said the injuries suffered by 9-year-old Elijah Ross at the hands of his stepmother were so numerous and gruesome that they had never seen anything like it in her 41 years saw here. Mother of beaten Fort Wayne boy sentenced to prison

Dais Johnston

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