A judge reduced bonds Wednesday for the two people charged in the first-degree murder of a toddler last year.
Amy Parmer, 27, of Hiawatha, and Zyriah Schlitter, 24, of Cedar Rapids, are both charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. They are accused of killing 17-month-old Kamryn Schlitter, who died from head trauma. Zyriah Schlitter is Kamryn’s father and Parmer is his ex-girlfriend.
Sixth Judicial Associate District Judge Jane Spande lowered the bonds from $1 million cash only to $500,000 cash or bond for each defendant in their first court appearance Wednesday.
The Linn County Attorney’s Office and the Department of Corrections recommended the $1 million cash only bond remain because of the nature of the crime, flight risk and as a protection to the community.
Tyler Johnston, Parmer’s attorney, and Johnson County Public Defender Peter Persaud, Schlitter’s attorney, argued their clients were not a flight risk because this investigation has been pending for more than a year and both have remained in the community and have ties to the area.
Persaud also argued Schlitter has no prior convictions.
Parmer had a previous OWI, license suspension and fifth-degree theft charges, according to the Department of Corrections.
Spande reduced the bonds based on the defense attorney’s arguments.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said after the hearing the charges were not filed until now because he was waiting for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Hiawatha police to complete their investigations, which included results of physical evidence in the case, statements from witnesses connected to the case and expert witnesses who analyzed the evidence.
Kamryn died March 28, 2010 at University Hospitals in Iowa City, a week after medics found her suffering from seizure-like symptoms inside an apartment at 245 Clymer Rd. in Hiawatha. According to the criminal complaint, she died from serious head injuries.
Schlitter and Parmer had exclusive care and custody of Kamryn from March 1 through March 21, 2010 and while at a daycare center on March 8 and March 15, workers noticed bruising to her face, according to the complaint. The first time they noticed the bruising, it appeared to be covered up with cosmetic make-up, according to the 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, according to the criminal complaint. Parmer and Schlitter made statements indicating knowledge of Kamryn’s injuries, as well as expressing frustration with caring for her, according to the complaint.
Kamryn suffered her “final, life threatening, intentionally inflicted and fatal injuries” during the final 72 hours of her life while already in a weakened and physically deteriorated state of health, according to the complaint. During those 72 hours, Kamryn was in the sole care and custody of Parmer and Schlitter.
According to the complaint, Parmer and Schlitter offered a reasonable medical explanation as to how Kamryn suffered such severe and fatal injuries.
Parmer and Zyriah Schlitter have also been named in a wrongful death civil lawsuit filed this past March. Kamryn’s mother, Nicole King, accused them of “beating and abuse” that led to Kamryn’s death.
Local daycare Apple Kids, Inc., owner Kendran Imhoff and former owner Lisa Burkle are also named as defendants in the civil lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses the daycare of failing to report a bruise on Kamryn to the Iowa Department of Human Services.
About one week later, daycare employees found more bruising on Kamryn and reported the situation to DHS, the lawsuit contends. DHS began an investigation, but Kamryn died before any action was taken, according to the lawsuit.