‘A tragedy in every respect:’ Mom sentenced to 30 months in Aaliyah Artis’ death

12-year-old Xenia girl died in 2021 from a lung injury, exacerbated by weight loss, malnutrition and poor living conditions

XENIA — Aaliyah Artis’ mother has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison in connection with the death of her 12-year-old daughter in 2021.

Mary Artis, 44, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in Greene County Common Pleas Court on Friday on two counts of child endangering, after the death of her daughter Aaliyah in 2021.

Credit: Greene County Jail

Credit: Greene County Jail

On June 8, 2021, Xenia police and medics were called to a house on Texas Drive in southwest Xenia and found the family in “deplorable living conditions,” according to the police report, which cited trash and food waste in all rooms, plus possible insect infestation.

Aaliyah Artis died at the scene from a lung injury, exacerbated by weight loss, malnutrition and poor living conditions. The investigation concluded there was no evidence Aaliyah’s death was “purposeful.”

“The case is a tragedy in every respect,” said Greene County Prosecutor David Hayes. “A mother has lost her child, and a child has lost her life.”

One other child and one adult sibling were found living with their mother at the residence. The siblings were immediately removed from the home and placed in the care of another family member.

The scene in Judge Adolfo Tornichio’s court Friday morning was emotional, said Mary Artis’ attorney, John Meehling.

“When we’re all retired, this will be a case that we remember, because it’s so sad,” he said.

Artis was indicted in April last year on three counts of felony child endangering. She pleaded guilty to two of the charges in November last year, and the third count was dropped.

Artis was receiving treatment for severe mental health problems, Meehling said, and had not worked for years. Artis undertook a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation and was found competent to stand trial in August.

Records obtained by the Dayton Daily News last year showed that Xenia police were called to check on Aaliyah at her home months before her death, and that Greene County Children Services had been alerted. A protest took place last July outside the children services offices.

“There needed to be another set of eyes on this family as a whole,” Meehling said.

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