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Virus cases lead to mistrial in case of slain Indiana girl

(Photos Supplied/Grant County Sheriff)

MARION, Ind. (AP): The murder trial of a northern Indiana woman accused of killing her stepdaughter ended in a mistrial after at least four people involved in the proceedings tested positive for COVID-19.

Amanda D. Carmack of Gas City faces charges of murder, neglect, domestic battery and strangulation in the death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Skylea Carmack, whose body was found hidden in a shed behind the family’s home last year.

Carmack’s trial began Oct. 19 in Grant Circuit Court but it was interrupted after at least three people associated with the trial tested positive for COVID-19, WANE-TV reported. It was due to resume Wednesday, but the judge declared a mistrial on Monday after the spouse of another person associated with the trial also tested positive for COVID-19. According to a motion, that person was considered “a critical participant” in the trial and was advised to quarantine for 14 days after the spouse’s 10-day isolation.

A 24-day delay in the trial would be “inappropriate,” the motion stated.

A date hasn’t been set yet for a new trial.

Skylea was last seen Aug. 31, 2019. Days later, Carmack admitted to strangling the girl to death in a shed behind the family’s home. Skylea’s body was found stashed in the shed, in plastic trash bags.

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