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An Indiana murder case involving a mother accused of killing her 10-year-old stepdaughter has been declared a mistrial after four members of the court tested positive for COVID-19.
The trial of Amanda Carmack, 34, began on Oct. 19, more than a year after she was first accused of strangling her stepdaughter Skylea Carmack to death. But the trial was placed on hold just nine days later, after three members of the court tested positive for the novel coronavirus, local station 93.1 WIBC reports.
The trial resumed yesterday. Shortly after it started, however, the spouse of another “critical participant” tested positive for the virus, according to a court motion acquired by the Associated Press. The spouse was ordered to quarantine for 10 days, and the court member for another 14 days after that.
The court ruled that 24 days was too long a delay and the case was declared a mistrial, according to AP. A new pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 30.
Amanda was arrested in October 2019 after her stepdaughter was found murdered in her shed, stuffed in a plastic trash bag with a pair of pants tied around her neck, according to a probable cause affidavit acquired by Oxygen.com.
Carmack allegedly confessed to killing the girl because “she was very angry” but would not elaborate on why. However, she allegedly admitted to slapping the 10-year-old earlier that day for stealing her sister’s charm bracelet.
Skylea was one of six children living in Carmack’s home, but was the only one Carmack was not biologically related to, according to the affidavit. In police interviews, some of those children allegedly said Carmack was a strict disciplinarian, sometimes whipping them with a pink belt or forcing them to face a wall with their hands up for hours.
Prior to her alleged confession, Carmack had reported Skylea missing, prompting a four-day search, Sgt. Tony Slocum said in a press conference last October.
She was charged with murder, battery of a minor resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and strangulation, according to online inmate records.
She faces life in prison if convicted, local outlet WTHR-13 reports.
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