CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man, who was granted a new trial last year in the 2010 child abuse death of his 18-month-old daughter, will plead to a lesser charge Friday.
Zyriah Schlitter, 29, was to be retried later this month for child endangerment resulting in death. He was originally charged with first-degree murder but convicted in 2012 by a jury of a lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter, and also child endangerment resulting in death.
Testimony showed Kamryn Schlitter died from severe head injuries caused by shaking or slamming. Schlitter was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Court documents show a plea hearing is set for 2:30 p.m. Friday in Linn County District Court.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks declined to give details of the plea Wednesday.
Schlitter appealed and last year the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction but granted a new trial last year on the child endangerment charge based on his lawyer’s error of not asking the trial judge for an acquittal on that charge.
Schlitter’s new lawyer questioned if the court ruled the involuntary manslaughter conviction should stand, but 6th Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover-Grinde ruled the court didn’t change that conviction. She also ruled that the prosecution could try Schlitter again on the child endangerment but without the prosecution’s theory that Schlitter was the one who inflicted the fatal blow, causing the toddler’s death.
The court’s ruling pointed out when Kamryn exhibited her first and second set of bruises, there were numerous others who had cared for her, too, including Schlitter’s then girlfriend, Amy Parmer, day care providers, her mother and several members of Schlitter’s family.
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Schlitter also wasn’t with Kamryn during the two hours leading up to a 911 call before her death, according to testimony. Parmer was taking care of her at the time.
According to the prosecution’s theory, Schlitter and Parmer, either individually or jointly inflicted the fatal injuries and knowingly permitted the other to abuse her or failed to protect the child from the other.
Parmer, 30, of Hiawatha, was tried separately and convicted in 2013 of child endangerment resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter. Her appeal was denied. She is serving 50 years in prison.
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