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Gas City Woman's Life Sentence Upheld by Indiana Supreme Court for Stepdaughter's Murder

The Indiana Supreme Court has recently upheld the Grant Circuit Court's decision to impose a life sentence without parole for Amanda Carmack, a woman from Gas City, who was found guilty of murdering her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Skylea Carmack, in September 2019.

During the trial, Amanda's attorneys argued whether there was sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Amanda did not act in a state of "sudden heat" when she committed the crime. However, the Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the lower court's conviction.

According to court documents, Amanda initially claimed that Skylea disappeared after she instructed her to clean her room while she prepared dinner. When asked directly if she was responsible for the girl's death, Amanda neither confessed nor denied the act.

The investigation led to Amanda's arrest after Skylea's body was discovered in a plastic bag in a shed behind their home.

In August 2021, Amanda Carmack was found guilty by a jury of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and strangulation. The jury recommended a life sentence without parole, which was imposed on September 15, 2021.

Gas City, where the incident occurred, is located approximately 70 miles northeast of downtown Indianapolis.

During the trial, it was revealed that Skylea's body was found in the shed after Amanda admitted to strangling her during an altercation over a charm bracelet belonging to another child. Amanda became irate and proceeded to choke Skylea with her hands before using a pair of jeans to further asphyxiate her.

The trial also brought to light Amanda's history of physical abuse towards the children in the home. She was described as a "strict disciplinarian" who physically abused the siblings, making them face the wall for extended periods and whipping them with a pink belt. While Amanda had three children of her own and three others belonging to her brother, Skylea was the only stepchild without any blood relation. Skylea was the biological daughter of Amanda's husband.

The trial faced delays, including a mistrial in November due to several individuals involved in the case testing positive for COVID-19.

In her defense, Amanda's lawyer, David Payne, argued during the recent trial that the murder was not premeditated and that Amanda was suffering from depression and escalating migraines.

With the Indiana Supreme Court's decision, Amanda Carmack's life sentence without parole stands, ensuring that she will be held accountable for the tragic and heinous crime she committed against her stepdaughter.


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