Stepmother sentenced to life in prison after death of 11-year-ol - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stepmother sentenced to life in prison after death of 11-year-old

Tommy and Amanda Raines (WMC Action News 5) Tommy and Amanda Raines (WMC Action News 5)
HERNANDO, MS (WMC) -

A jury sentenced Amanda Raines to life in prison.

Raines and her husband Tommy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her stepson's death.

The terms of a plea deal offered in May state that Tommy could not serve more time in jail than Amanda. His sentence would either be equal or less than hers.

Tommy Raines' son Tyler was 11 years old when he died.

During closing arguments, the prosecutor showed jurors a picture of Tyler happy and having fun at the park. Then, he held up a picture that showed the 11-year-old severely bruised and battered.

Relatives of the boy wept and had to be consoled after hearing the prosecutor describe how Tyler suffered beatings. Then, the prosecutor showed jurors a cluster of zip ties and said Tyler had been restrained and kept locked in a bathroom.

When Amanda Raines’ attorney addressed the jury, he described her actions toward her stepson and said she knows that she should be punished, and that’s why she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Defense attorneys claim that Amanda was under a lot of stress trying to raise seven children along with her husband. Raines also pleaded guilty to his son’s death.

Through the trial, prosecutors accused Amanda Raines of being an abusive mother who, along with her husband, tortured their son. However, defense attorneys put Amanda’s older sister on the stand and she described Amanda as a good mother. Fighting back tears, she said she had never witnessed Amanda being mean to her children.

Because she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, the jury had two options: life in prison or a sentence of between 20 and 40 years.

Prosecutors said a date has not yet been set to sentence Tyler’s father.

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