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An Indiana woman convicted of murder in the strangling death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter was sentenced to life prison without the possibility of parole.
Amanda Carmack of Gas City was sentenced by a judge on Wednesday. A jury found her guilty in August of killing 10-year-old Skylea Carmack in September of 2019, as previously reported by Oxygen.com. The jury recommended the sentence after convicting her of murder, neglect of a dependent and strangulation.
Skylea was last seen on Aug. 31, 2019. Days later, Carmack was arrested after investigators found Skylea’s body in a plastic bag in a shed behind her home, WTHR-TV reported.
Skylea lived in the home with her father Kevin Carmack, Amanda Carmack, three of Amanda’s children and three children of Amanda’s brother, according to probable cause affidavit previously obtained by Oxygen.com.
The children told police that Amanda Carmack was a “strict disciplinarian,” who beat them with a pink belt and doled out other punishments when they misbehaved, the IndyStar reported.
“They stated that when they were in trouble they would have to stand with their face against the wall with their hands in the air,’” State Police Det. Wendell D. Beachy wrote in the affidavit. “Sometimes they would remain on the position for several hours.”
Carmack admitted to killing Skylea after discovering she had taken another child’s charm bracelet, leading to the woman “choking her with her hands” before “she tied something around her neck,” according to the affidavit.
During a cross-examination, a prosecutor asked Carmack why she killed the little girl and she said, “things happen,” according to WANE -TV.
Carmack was first tried for murder last year, but a judge declared a mistrial after four people involved in the case tested positive for COVID-19, the AP reported.
Her attorney, Dave Payne, told WANE-TV that he planned to appeal the conviction. He argued during the trial that the slaying was not premeditated, and Carmack was suffering from depression and escalating migraines, as previously reported by Oxygen.com.
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