C.R. man argues for separate murder trial from ex-girlfriend
State objects, says they need to be tried together
CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man accused in the 2010 death of his toddler asked the court Friday to have a separate trial from his ex-girlfriend to avoid potential conflicting statements.
Zyriah Schlitter, 24, of Cedar Rapids, and Amy Jo Parmer, 27, of Hiawatha, are both charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. They are accused of causing the death of 17-month-old Kamryn Schlitter. Kamryn died of head trauma March 28, 2010.
Tom Gaul, Schlitter’s attorney, said there are potential statements made by Parmer that would implicate Schlitter. He cited one statement made by another witness that would implicate Parmer. He then argued this would have him and Parmer’s attorney trying to destroy the credibility of a witness, while the other tries to bolster that testimony.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Marsha Beckelman wanted to know the specific statements made by Parmer or Schlitter but Gaul said he didn’t have them. She replied that she couldn’t rule on his motion if she didn’t have the information.
Gaul then asked to file a brief with the statements later. Beckelman agreed to give him 10 days but said seven days would be better because the trial is now set for May 29.
Gaul also argued he needed more time to prepare his case because depositions haven’t been conducted and Parmer has declined to waive her 90-day speedy trial right.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said he resisted the motion to separate the trials because it is impossible for one of them to have committed the abuse without the other person knowing or being involved.
"It’s no benefit to the state to try them separately,” Maybanks said.
According to the criminal complaint, Parmer and Schlitter either individually or jointly inflicted the fatal injuries to the victim, knowingly permitted the other co-defendant to abuse the victim and/or failed to protect the child from the other co-defendant.
Maybanks said if any statements exist concerning one of the co-defendants implicating the other, the court can address those before trial and make a ruling as to whether they are used in testimony.