Ryan Reed & Allison Clement summation

Reed and Clement

Submitted by: Delia Johnson
JCM 301
Court Story

Ongoing Child Murder Case Comes to an End

Note from Cleo: Delia Johnson very kindly offered her article for publishing. She is a student journalist at ASU. I thank her for her generosity, and for providing the conclusion to the case of Ryan Reed and Allison Clement.

Approximately four years after the death of two-year-old Savannah Cross, Ryan Reed was charged Friday morning with second degree murder and sentenced to a total for 35 years in prison.

30-year-old Reed and his wife Allison Clement, 31, ran an unlicensed child care service out of their home on South 45th Street in Phoenix. Savannah Cross was one of the children in their care and on December 11, 2012 she died while in their care.

The bruises on her body were “too many to count” as described by medical staff to the media. According to the medical examiner’s report of, she suffered from “multiple traumatic injuries, acute methamphetamine and diphenhydramine exposure and dehydration.” Savannah Cross’ injuries noted in the autopsy include adult bite marks, cigarette burns, and significant injury to her right eye. DNA testing and body injuries also indicate that Reed had molested her.

The fatal blow occurred when Reed stomped on her abdomen on the night before her death according to court documents. He told police he heard her groaning throughout the night and the authorities were called at 7 a.m. the next morning when she was unresponsive. Savannah Cross died on the way to the hospital.

Stephen Cross, Savannah Cross’ father, was present in court Friday morning and told the judge “I could not be more proud to the be father of that child.” He described Savannah as always giggling and smiling.

“She had an aura about her that just glowed all around her,” said Cathy Cross, Savannah Cross’ grandmother and former licensed child care provider. “I don’t know how to explain it.”

The family expressed that they were hopeful that the court sentencing would give Savannah Cross the justice that they believe she deserved after nearly four years since her death.

Reed was originally indicted for murder and child abuse December 2012. The case was labeled as a complex case, determined to begin after 270 days. However, after that period of time the medical examiner still did not have the autopsy report completed. Due to the lack of evidence, suspects were released September 2013 and their charges were dismissed. The medical report was finished December 6 after the medical examiner demanded a pay raise. In December 2013, Reed was charged with sexual conduct to a minor and child abuse.

The lengthy trials took an obvious toll on the Cross family. Cathy Cross attempts to verbalize the impact that this situation has had on her.

“The impact is multifaceted. The cycle of grief takes us on a journey of unexpected calamity. It changes who we are. It changes how we think. It challenges our belief in faith and justice. It’s just pure evil,” she said. “The impact of this on me in indescribably, irreversible, burned into my soul.”

During the sentencing, Stephen Cross honored his daughter by sharing happy memories that he has of her. He illustrates the time that they spent together on Easter, saying she was “so full of life.”

Stephen Cross had not seen his daughter for almost a year before finding out about her death. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder shares custody of his daughter with her mother Ashley who put her in the child care service for weeks at a time. Stephen Cross said that he wasn’t aware of how long Savannah Cross was in day care for and if he had known he would have picked her up.

“You never think it’s going to be your family,” said Cathy Cross. “Not when there’s so much love in the family.”

Frankie Grimsman, the family’s attorney since the day of Savannah Cross’s death, fought for the defendants sentencing to the maximum sentencing allowable.

“There is no doubt that even if Alison Clement never inflicted a single injury on Savannah, she saw them all happen. There is no greater indifference to human life then to watch someone harming a child in your care,” said Grimsman. “[Clement] deserves the maximum in prison for letting this child in her care be tortured and die.”

The court sentenced Reed to a total of 35 years in jail, lifetime probation, and required him to register as a sex offender.

“All I can really say is I’m sorry. If I was able to I would change things,” said Reed.

Clement was sentenced to 24 years in jail and lifetime probation for failure to seek care for injuries.

Clemet’s attorney Chris Winchell, who has been practicing since 1995, said he hopes that the outcome of the case will allow Clement to “have the opportunity to rehabilitate [herself] and then come out and be a productive member of society. . .if she takes the right direction she can still contribute to society. In that regard I’m pleased with the result.”

Judge Joan Sinclair’s final statement was that “I am hopeful that once this day is completed, [Reed] will move on to start serving [his] sentence and Mrs. Clement will start serving her sentence and that all families involved here can find a measure of closure and peace and move forward with their lives.”

7 Responses to Ryan Reed & Allison Clement summation

  1. Bengalpuss says:

    Why was the savannah left for weeks at a time? And why didn’t anyone spot all the injuries on this little girl? I’m confused why this little girl was kept for such a length of time in these two monsters care? I’m not shifting blame here but I’m just curious.

  2. Bengalpuss says:

    And in one comment the biological father refereed to savannah as “that child” poor little girl put into a place where her last days were in an unlicensed day care, being sexually molested and beaten, that poor baby girl. Rest in peace savannah, your with god now.

  3. Dawn says:

    Mom should be charged with abandonment and child endangerment.

  4. DecentPeopleOnly says:

    Reprehensible Evil and Scummish

    Murder Warrants the Death Penalty

    Murder is just Murder I Cannot see how there can be ” 1st Degree ”
    and ” 2nd Degree ” Murder

    Sentences would of been Far in Lousy Liberal Degenerate UK

  5. DecentPeopleOnly says:

    Definitely is Horrible what Happened to Child

  6. Mindy says:

    Fuck the medical examiner, too. Using a case like this to leverage a raise for yourself and delaying justice for a little girl? What the actual fuck?

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