116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A Hiawatha woman's conviction for her role in the death of toddler Kamryn Schlitter in 2010, who died from head injuries caused by abuse, was upheld Wednesday by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
The court dismissed seven claims by Amy Parmer, who was convicted by jury in 2013 for involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death. She is serving 50 years in prison.
Parmer argued there was insufficient evidence and inconsistencies for the states's alternate theories of who was responsible for Kamryn's abuse and death. An expert's testimony changed at trial and the court erred in not allowing certain statements and giving the jury an Allen charge - telling them to go back and try to reach a verdict after they said they couldn't.
The court had previously upheld Kamryn's father Zyriah Schlitter's 2012 conviction of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death. He is also serving 50 years in prison.
According to the ruling, the prosecution's theory was that Parmer, along with Schlitter, inflicted the physical abuse of Kamryn or each knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it wasn't inconsistent, as Parmer claimed. At Parmer's trial, the state argued and presented evidence that either one could have been responsible for the final blows causing the child's fatal injury or the other injuries leading up to her death.
Parmer during trial had the opportunity to testify and challenge the theory before the jury, the court added.
She also had the same opportunity to question an expert's opinion, who Parmer claimed changed his prior testimony without notice to the defense. The doctor didn't repeat verbatim the exact times when the injuries occurred from his deposition or in the Schlitter trial, but his testimony was consistent with the original and additional minutes of testimony provided by the state, according to the ruling.
The doctor's opinion that Kamryn's second fatal injury occurred within 12 to 24 hours before the child was taken to the hospital never changed, the court stated.
Regarding arguments that the court should have granted an acquittal or new trial, the court stated the child's injuries occurred during times Kamryn was in Parmer's care, the testimony of the doctors as to the significant bruising, which Parmer said she didn't see, Parmer's inconsistent statements, along with witness's who said Parmer had anger toward the child and had confessed to the crime, all support the jury's verdict.