Woman being sentenced for second-degree murder of stepson

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HORN LAKE, Miss. — "That child didn't even have a chance at life."

Cheryl Barbee lived in the same neighborhood as Tommy and Amanda Raines.

Behind the Raines' closed doors, police said 11-year-old Tyler Raines was being starved and tortured.

But no one knew — that is, until it was too late.

"There was crime-scene tape everywhere, the sheriffs department, the hearse..." Barbee described.

Tuesday was day two of Amanda Raines' sentencing in the death of her stepson. She could receive anywhere from 20 years to life.

She and her husband Jack Raines both confessed to second-degree murder in the killing of Tyler, Jack's son.

Family told WREG that Tyler had cigarette burns on his face, bruises on his body and ligature marks on his arms and legs.

"It broke my heart," Barbee said. "It broke all of our hearts."

In a police interrogation, Amanda admitted to tying Tyler up. He hadn't been to a doctor in years, and detectives said Tyler showed up to school with a black eye one day.

Amanda said he constantly stole food from their cabinets at home. But he weighed only 56 pounds when he was found dead.

Barbee said she is sickened to think what Tyler endured and hopes the jury will act quickly to get justice for him.

"I know we're from the Bible Belt and we're supposed to be all forgiving, but that child had no way to protect himself."

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