INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court has decided to consider the appeal of an Indiana woman convicted of killing her stepdaughter.
Amanda Carmack of Gas City was found guilty of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, domestic battery resulting in death to a person under 14 years of age, and strangulation in connection to the 2019 death of 10-year-old Skylea Carmack.
The girl’s stepmother Amanda Carmack was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole.
Carmack and her attorney are challenging whether sufficient evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she did not act in “sudden heat” when she killed Skylea.
They argue she should be charged with involuntary manslaughter instead of murder.
During court on Thursday, Carmack’s attorney told the Ind. Supreme Court that at the time of the murder, the woman was caring for and homeschooling her own three children, along with her brother’s three children and her stepdaughter, Skylea.
The attorney argued Skylea pushed Amanda Carmack to her breaking point.
“This is a woman under a lot of stress, and this child was causing a lot of stress. That’s why she did what she did, in her words.”
The attorney claimed the final straw for Amanda Carmack was Skylea stealing a bracelet, and Skylea’s father (Amanda’s husband) not addressing it immediately.
The girl was first reported missing in late August of 2019, prompting a statewide Silver Alert and large search.
Just days later, Amanda Carmack confessed to police that she killed the girl.
Police found Skylea’s body inside of a trash bag in a shed on the family’s property.
The little girl had been strangled. Carmack told police she had gotten angry with Skylea.
When asked in court why she did it, Carmack reportedly said, “Things happen.”
As the Associated Press reported, Carmack first stood trial for the killing in 2020 but the judge declared a mistrial after four people involved in the proceedings tested positive for COVID-19. She was retried in 2021 and convicted.
While it is confirmed Indiana Supreme Court justices will discuss the appeal, no timeline has been set on the ruling.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.