CEDAR RAPIDS - Zyriah Schlitter was sentenced to 50 years in prison Wednesday in the death of his 17-month-old daughter Kamryn, who died of severe head injuries caused by a shaking or slamming in 2010.
Zyriah Schlitter, 25, of Cedar Rapids, was found guilty by a jury of voluntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death following a two week trial in December. The child endangerment resulting in death is a mandatory 50-year sentence with possibility for parole, so the five year manslaughter sentence merges with the greater offense.
"I'm sorry everything had to happen this way," Schlitter said before the judge sentenced him. "I miss my daughter."
Schlitter also said he knew "it's not over" and he was grateful to his family and friends for their support.
His mother and other family members told him they loved him and that "we know the truth," as Schlitter was taken out of the courtroom after sentencing.
Nicole King, Kamryn's mother, who now lives in Arkansas, didn't attend the sentencing, but some of her family members were at the hearing.
6th Judicial District Marsha Beckelman said she wasn't making a recommendation of how long Schlitter should have to serve before being eligible for parole, which is her discretion with the child endangerment sentence. She will leave that up to the parole board.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks asked the judge to recommend 30 years based on the repeated abuse of Kamryn, the extent of her injuries, and his "callousness" towards Kamryn's injuries and her death.
Tom Gaul, Schlitter's attorney, said Schlitter has no previous criminal history and asked the court to leave it up to the parole board.
Schlitter also was ordered to pay $150,000 in victim restitution to King for Kamryn's estate.
Gaul, before sentencing, argued for a new trial and arrest of judgment but the judge denied both motions.
Maybanks said after sentencing that this day belongs to Kamryn and the verdict "brings justice to her story and her life."
According to trial testimony, Schlitter maintained his innocence, saying he didn't inflict Kamryn's fatal injuries, and he never admitted to knowing that ex-girlfriend Amy Parmer, 29, of Hiawatha, hurt his daughter. Parmer is also charged in this case with first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death. Her trial is set Aug. 19.
In the first week of testimony, King testified that she initially thought Parmer was to blame for the abuse Kamryn suffered, but after seeing scratch-like marks on her daughter in the hospital she thought Schlitter may have been responsible for those.
The state claimed Schlitter and Parmer, either individually or jointly, inflicted the fatal injuries to Kamryn, knowingly permitted the other co-defendant to abuse her and/or failed to protect the child from the other co-defendant.Medical experts testified Kamryn would have never recovered from the blunt force head injuries, which likely occurred within hours or days of the 911 call made by Parmer, who was taking care of Kamryn that night.