Father of 5-year-old girl found dead in North Canton restaurant sentenced to 12 years in prison

NORTH CANTON, Ohio - The husband of a woman who was sentenced to spend 22 years in prison last month for killing their 5-year-old child will spend the next 12 years behind bars as well.

According to court records, Liang Zhao, the father of 5-year-old Ashley Zhao, was sentenced this week on multiple charges.

Zhao was sentencing came as part of a plea deal made last year when he agreed to testify against his wife. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for endangering children, three years for tampering with evidence and one year for gross abuse of a corpse. 

He had been sentenced to eight years on a second endangering children charge but will serve the time concurrently with the other charge. 

Police initially thought Ashley had wandered out the back of Ang's Cuisine, located on the 4900 block of Portage Street Northwest in North Canton.

After Ashley died, her parents reported her missing.

The girl's body was found concealed inside her parent's restaurant by investigators the next day. Both of her parents were charged after the discovery.

In December, Zhao's wife, Ming Ming Chen, was sentenced to 22 years in prison after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

According to police, Chen struck the girl several times in the head with her right fist. Zhao allegedly found the girl unresponsive and tried to revive her with CPR but was unsuccessful.

According to Stark County Prosecutor John D. Ferrero, Ashley's death was "committed in a fit of anger by a mother who had never bonded with her child, because she had not raised her since infancy, and who was more of a burden to her mother than a blessing."

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