Mom charged in fatal child beating case declared ‘indigent’

Second suspect also represented by public defender
Jenna and Alesha Miller
Jenna and Alesha Miller(Allen County Jail)
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:29 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Court records show the mother of a 9-year-old who investigators say was beaten to death in his home shortly before Christmas has been declared indigent and appointed an attorney.

As of Thursday, a public defender represents Jenna Miller, 36, the mother of 9-year-old Elijah Ross, who died after he was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries. Jenna Miller is charged with four felony counts, including Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death. The Court appointed counsel for her wife, Alesha Miller, one week earlier. Alesha Miller also faces multiple felony counts.

Elijah was reportedly “cold and limp” when he was driven by the women from their Putnam Street home to doctors during the early morning of Dec. 18, with bruising and cuts all over his body. Investigative records show Jenna Miller told police that Alesha Miller had a history of “whooping” the boy as discipline, sometimes using a paddle.

Alesha Miller was arrested on Dec. 20 and Jenna Miller on Dec. 23. The Allen County Coroner’s Office has ruled the death a homicide, meaning prosecutors could still upgrade the charges in the case. A hearing for both defendants is set for Jan. 24.

The Allen County Coroner’s office says an autopsy found that the 9-year-old boy suffered...
The Allen County Coroner’s office says an autopsy found that the 9-year-old boy suffered multiple blunt force injuries.(Elijah's Grandmother Mindi Hemminger)

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