Both parties in the murder trial agreed on one thing Wednesday: Amanda Dawn Carmack strangled her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death on Aug. 31, 2019.

In his opening statement, lead defense attorney David Payne told the jury they should find his client guilty of voluntary manslaughter, not murder. His argument Wednesday focused on how Carmack acted in “sudden heat,” claiming there was no premeditation in her actions and that she was under a lot of pressure at home while trying to care for seven children.

Andrew Maciejewski, Chronicle-Tribune editor, may be reached by email at amaciejewski@

chronicle-tribune.com.