MARION, Ind. (WANE) — The murder trial of a Gas City woman accused of killing her stepdaughter more than a year ago has ended in a mistrial after at least four people involved in the proceedings came down with COVID-19.
Amanda D. Carmack faces charges of Murder, Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, Domestic Battery Resulting in Death to a Person Under 14, and Strangulation after police found 10-year-old Skylea Carmack’s body in a shed last September.
Carmack’s trial began Oct. 19 in Grant Circuit Court but it was stopped after at least three people associated with the trial tested positive for COVID-19. It resumed Nov. 4.
At that point, then, a spouse of another person associated with the trial tested positive for COVID-19. According to a court motion, the person was considered “a critical participant” in the trial, and was told to quarantine for 14 days after their spouse’s 10-day isolation.
The court motion said a 24-day delay in the trial would be “inappropriate.” The court then, “with great reluctance,” declared a mistrial.
A pretrial conference has been scheduled for Nov. 30. A new trial will be scheduled later.
Skylea was last seen Aug. 31, 2019. A Silver Alert was issued as Gas City Police and members of the community passed out fliers and searched for the girl.
Days later, Carmack admitted to strangling the girl to death in a shed behind the family’s East South D Street home. Skylea’s body was found stashed in the shed, in plastic trash bags.