Court records: Stepmother accused of killing 10-year-old Gas City girl seeking mental illness defense

Amanda Carmack booking photo from Grant County Jail

GAS CITY, Ind. – The woman accused of killing her 10-year-old stepdaughter and leaving her body in a trash bag inside a shed plans to seek a mental illness defense.

Court records showed Amanda Carmack, 34, filed a “notice of mental disease or defect” in Grant County.

Carmack, 34, confessed earlier this month to strangling Skylea Carmack. The 10-year-old was reported missing on Aug. 31, prompting a Silver Alert and a large search by volunteers and law enforcement.

Days later, on Sept. 4, police said Amanda Carmack came to the police station and confessed to killing Skylea. Hours after the confession, police found the girl’s body stuffed in a trash bag inside a shed on the family’s property. She’d been strangled.

Skylea Carmack (Photo Provided By Gas City Police Department)

Carmack told police she’d gotten angry with her stepdaughter but didn’t specify why, according to investigators. The Grant County Coroner’s Office said the girl’s cause of death was “asphyxia by strangulation.”

Carmack waived her right to counsel but has been assigned a public defender, according to court records.

Prosecutors said they planned to seek a life sentence without parole in the case. Her trial is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2020.

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