In a surprising twist Thursday, some testimony for Amy Parmer’s defense will be delayed until Monday, so her medical experts have a chance to review a state witness’ testimony which the defense claimed completely changed during trial.
Tyler Johnston, Parmer’s attorney, asked for a mistrial after the state rested, saying Dr. Gary Baumbach, a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics pathologist, changed his testimony from Zyriah Schlitter’s trial, who was already convicted in his 17-month-old daughter Karmyn Schlitter’s death March 28, 2010.
Johnston claimed Baumbach’s changed the timing of when Kamryn’s injury occurred which implicates Parmer as the one who inflicted the fatal rotational head injury. He said he never received new or additional information Baumbach testified to Wednesday. He asked for a delay in trial so his medical experts had to time to look at the information Baumbach presented in court.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Marsha Beckelman said she would allow for a short delay as long as First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks agreed to it, which he did.
Parmer, 29, of Hiawatha, is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. She is accused of inflicting the physical abuse of Kamryn, along with her ex-boyfriend Zyriah Schlitter.
Schlitter, 25, of Cedar Rapids, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death last December and is serving 50 years in prison.
The trial will continue 9 a.m. Friday with other defense witnesses. The medical experts will not testify until Monday. The trial started Aug. 19. Follow Gazette Reporter Trish Mehaffey’s continuing live coverage from the courtroom.
Beckelman said Baumbach in the end said he didn’t change his testimony.
“Isn’t that for a jury to figure out?” Beckelman said. “Credibility of an expert is (considered) by the jury like any other witness and they can give it whatever weight they want.”
Beckelman said she was going to allow the delay in fairness to both sides.
In other testimony, a video of Parmer’s interview with a special agent of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was played. In the interview she says Kamryn and her father stayed at her home almost every night since they got together, which included the last month of Kamryn’s life.
Parmer said she helped care for Kamryn and even cleaned up her vomit a few times during the last few weeks of her life when she was sick. She said Kamryn “was a good girl” never cried for her.
The defense claimed in its opening that Parmer only babysat some for Kamryn and wasn’t responsible for her care. Parmer wasn’t a parent figure in her life.
Parmer said Schlitter would get frustrated with Kamryn sometimes when she was crying and he would tell her “I don’t know what to do with you.” She was concerned by his frustration.
Special Agent Darrell Simmons asked if she was aware of the bruises on Kamryn that DHS was investigating.
Parmer said no but went on to say Kamryn got into everything. Kamryn’s first day at daycare she was put in timeout five times for climbing bookshelves. Kamryn also got into her closet at home another time and a playpen fell on her.
Parmer then said she overheard a conversation between Schlitter and her sister after Kamryn was taken to the hospital and Schlitter said Kamryn recently hit her head hard.
Text messages between Parmer and Schlitter sent and received from March 20 to April 4, 2010 were also shown to the jurors. In the text, the two are making plans for a life together. They talk about moving in together and talk about wanting to be together and have sex, but Kamryn’s condition and the criminal investigation into her death prevents them.
In some of the texts on March 24, 2010, Parmer is questioning if Schlitter thinks she is to blame for Kamryn’s injuries. He says he doesn’t think that.
On March 29, the day after Kamryn is taken off life support, Parmer is asking if he wants to go to movie. Then later that night, they are discussing renting a movie and naming different ones.
On March 31, they are talking about having sex and how much they miss each other, and how it’s unfair that they can’t be together.
“Time is what we have now,” Schlitter text.
“We don’t have much time together…our families hate us being with each other,” Parmer replies.
“Well when everything is done, idc, we have all nights to ourselves. They can’t stop us,” Schlitter text.
“We always have had all nights to ourselves. Silly,” Parmer replies.
“Nope, but I mean we are free to do more without worrying bout being walked in on lol,” Schlitter text.
“For five weeks….,” Parmer replies.