Jury selection starts Monday in Linn County District Court for a Hiawatha woman charged in the death of a 17-month-old toddler in 2010.
Amy Jo Parmer, 29, is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. Parmer is accused in the death of Kamryn Schlitter, who died of blunt force head injuries March 28, 2010, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the prosecution’s theory, Parmer, along with ex-boyfriend Zyriah Schlitter, 26, both inflicted Kamryn’s physical abuse or each knew of the other’s abuse and did nothing to stop it the last month of her life, while Schlitter, Kamryn’s father, had sole custody of the child.
Zyriah Schlitter of Cedar Rapids was convicted of lesser charges involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death last December. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison. During his trial he testified that he didn’t abuse Kamryn and he never accused Parmer of hurting her.
Several medical experts testified at his trial that Kamryn wouldn’t have recovered from the severe head trauma that was caused by a shaking or slamming. The specialists and doctors also said the injuries likely occurred within hours or days of the 911 call Parmer made March 22, 2010, saying Kamryn needed medical help.
Attorneys said last week the trial may take up to four weeks because of the number of witnesses, and they expect jury selection may take up to three days in order to seat a fair and impartial jury because of the media attention during the Zyriah Schlitter’s trial. The majority of the witnesses are doctors who treated Kamryn, law enforcement, and possibly family members.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Marsha Beckelman told the attorneys last week that a jury pool of 100 will be called to avoid any problems if some were familiar with the case or can’t serve for other reasons. The judge and attorneys also agreed to call four alternates, along with panel of 12, because this will be a lengthy trial.
Follow Gazette Reporter Trish Mehaffey’s live coverage from the courtroom of the trial when testimony starts. Followers can log in and ask Mehaffey questions and provide comments during the live blog.