CEDAR RAPIDS - Investigators testified Friday that Zyriah Schlitter, who is accused of killing his 17-month-old daughter Kamryn in 2010, changed his account of what happened the day she died in three different interviews and never could explain her severe bruising and massive head injuries.
Schlitter, 25, in the police interview said he didn’t notice the bruising on Kamryn’s face March 15 until a DHS employee told him after the daycare she attended reported it. He noticed it then but didn’t know how it happened.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Darrell Simmons told Schlitter he knew the doctors told him the injuries were not an accident. The injuries were inflicted by Schlitter or his ex-girlfriend Amy Parmer, he said.
“It didn’t happen from a trip and fall,” Simmons said. She was either shaken violently or dropped on her head or slammed down on her head, according to (doctors).”
Schlitter starts crying a few minutes later and says he didn’t think Parmer hurt her.
“I don’t know,” Schlitter said. “That’s why you’re investigating. I don’t appreciate this. We need to stop. Please.”
Schlitter is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.
More than 10 doctors testified this week Kamryn Schlitter suffered massive head trauma and a medical examiner said she died from blunt force head trauma March 28, 2010.
The prosecution will wrap up its case 9 a.m. Monday in Linn County District Court. The defense could start its case late morning. The trial started last week.
Gazette Reporter Trish Mehaffey continues her live coverage from the courtroom Monday.
Simmons asked Schlitter about make-up that daycare employees wiped off of Kamryn’s face that covered some of the bruising March 8, 2010. Schlitter wasn’t shocked or surprised. He didn’t say much at first and then said Parmer, who is also charged in Kamryn's death, didn’t have any make-up.
Schlitter said Parmer possibly put Vitamin K on her bruise to help her heal, Simmons said. In the earlier interview, Schlitter said he hadn’t seen the bruising.
Simmons said the daycare employees saved the wipe with the make-up and he collected it and sent it to the lab for testing. Police searched Parmer’s apartment and found several make-up items to compare to the sample.
The wipe had Kamryn’s DNA on it and compounds that are commonly found in make-up, Simmons said. The sample wasn’t adequate to do a test comparing it to Parmer’s make-up.
During the interviews played for the jury, Schlitter added more details of March 21, 2010 when Kamryn died. In the initial interview he said Kamryn was getting better after having an ear infection and pink eye. In the later interviews he seemed to add more symptoms she was displaying a few days before and the day of, such as being sleepy all the time, throwing up, pulling out her hair.
Schlitter defended Parmer throughout the interviews and even said in one interview that he was responsible for his daughter when she was Parmer’s home.
Tom Gaul, Schlitter's attorney, asked Simmons if Schlitter answered all his questions in the interviews.
Simmons said he cooperated.
Simmons also introduced text messages between Schlitter and Parmer from March 20 to April 2, 2010. The messages were displayed on a screen for the jurors to read.
In a text messages March 23, Schlitter thanks Parmer for sending him “information.” He said Kamryn had a lot of “those symptoms” and “I’ve told everyone about her symptoms.”
Schlitter in a March 24 text said Kamryn has a brain injury which indicates “shaken baby syndrome” and he’s depressed.
Parmer asked when she started daycare and is that when the symptoms started. She asks if he thinks it was her that hurt Kamryn.
Schlitter said he didn’t but Parmer gets defensive when he asks if Kamryn played that night.
They also talk about plans to move into a three bedroom apartment or house.
On March 30, they get into an argument over saying “I love you” at the first of a text or at the last. The next day, Parmer says the “cops” called her again.
On March 31, Parmer complains they don’t have much time together.
Schlitter: “Well, when everything is done, idc (I don’t care), we have all nights to ourselves. They can’t stop us. We are free to do more without worrying bout being walked in on. lol”
Parmer: for five weeks
Schlitter had temporary custody of Kamryn for four weeks.
On April 2, Parmer is talking about how the news is portraying her as a child abuser and her “name is ruined.” Schlitter tells her he wants to be with her and she says she “loves him forever.”
After the jurors read the messages, Gaul on cross asked Simmons if Parmer was having sex with another man March 21 while she was telling Schlitter she loved him.Simmons said yes.