LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of an Indiana woman convicted of killing her stepdaughter.

Amanda Carmack of Gas City was found guilty of murder, neglect of a dependent, battery and strangulation. She was convicted of killing 10-year-old Skylea Carmack in September 2019, and sentenced to life without parole. 

Skylea was reported missing, and after an extensive search, police say Amanda Carmack confessed to killing her days later.

The girl's body was found in a trash bag in a shed.

Carmack's attorneys argued that the conviction should be overturned because she acted under "sudden heat," meaning that she was "overwhelmed" by Skylea and thus there was "no premeditation" to support a murder conviction.

They argued that prosecutors failed to "rebut her contention that she was acting under extreme stress, causing sudden heat, when she killed [Skylea] and therefore her conviction should be mitigated or reduced to [voluntary]  manslaughter."

Conversely, prosecutors argued that they were able to prove that her actions were not the result of "sudden heat."

In its ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court sided with the prosecution, finding that Skylea did nothing that would have provoked a "sudden heat" response from Carmack. They said the challenges Carmack had with her were "clearly not sufficient provocation" for Carmack's disciplinary actions of "slapping, knocking, kicking, and dropping" the child that resulted in her death.

The court also found that there was a sustained "cooling off" period before the murder in which Carmack would have calmed down, had she been acting in "sudden heat." 

As a result of the Indiana Supreme Court's decision, Carmack's conviction and subsequent life without parole sentence still stands.

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