Amy Parmer testified Tuesday that she never hurt 17-month-old Kamryn Schlitter and she was only alone with the toddler for about six hours in March 2010 when her father Zyriah Schlitter had custody of her.
Parmer, 29, of Hiawatha, who cried at times on the stand, said she thought Kamryn was “adorable” and wanted the child in her life. She didn’t consider herself in a parental role with Kamryn because when she and Zyriah Schlitter were together she would be in charge of her two children and he would be responsible for Kamryn.
She noticed bruising on Kamryn’s cheeks and forehead, but she never suspected child abuse, Parmer said.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks in rapid fire questions attempted to impeach her statements by going over the fact that she told police Schlitter and Kamryn stayed with her almost every night, which he said indicated she was more involved with Kamryn than she admitted.
Parmer at times, denied the statements until Maybanks showed her the transcript. He also went over some texts where Parmer is questioning Schlitter’s loyalty and then he said she points the finger at Schlitter to police.
Parmer, charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death, is accused of inflicting the physical abuse of Kamryn, along with Schlitter, 25, of Cedar Rapids, who was convicted in her death last December and is serving 50 years in prison.
According to medical testimony, Kamryn died from rotational head trauma March 28, 2010. Parmer called 911 while she was babysitting Kamryn March 21, 2010 when she became unresponsive and was posturing.
The defense will continue its case 9 a.m. Wednesday in Linn County District Court. The trial, which started Aug. 19, could wrap up at the end of the week. Follow Gazette Reporter Trish Mehaffey’s continuing live coverage from the courtroom.
Parmer said she only stayed alone with Kamryn March 14 and 21, when her father went to his financial class at church. She and Kamryn would play together and Kamryn loved to dance. Kamryn could have gone to the church’s daycare but Parmer wanted to keep her, she said.
Tyler Johnston, Parmer’s attorney, asked her to explain why she called Kamryn “a brat” at her daycare and referred to her at the “most obnoxious kid in the world” to another man in a text.
Parmer said it was because Kamryn was being unruly. The Apple Kids daycare teachers told her Kamryn had been in timeout five times that day for climbing the bookshelves.
Earlier in the trial, daycare teachers testified they couldn’t remember giving Kamryn any timeouts and she may have climbed once on the bookshelves.
In the text, Parmer said she was referring to Kamryn while she was sick and she was frustrated by her behavior. Parmer admitted at times, she calls her own children obnoxious and bratty.
The day of March 21, Parmer said Kamryn was sleepy, fussy and cried a lot throughout the day. She was clingy to her father.
Parmer said Schlitter got frustrated with Kamryn that day. At one point, he told her ”I don’t know what to do with you.” He then picked her up harshly or quickly and took her into the bedroom for a timeout.
Parmer said she had seen him do the same thing a few weeks before.
Kamryn took a nap and Parmer woke her about 3:30 p.m. Kamryn just sat on the couch and watched TV. She wouldn’t play or interact with anybody. Schlitter left for his class and Kamryn was still sleepy, so Parmer gave her a bath and put her to bed about 7:30 p.m.
“Colton and I realized she didn’t have her blanket and tiger, so I went to go get them and when I came back her eyes were rolling back in her head and her body went stiff,” Parmer said tearing up. “I called (911).”
Johnston asked if she harmed Kamryn and she said no.
First Assistant Nick Maybanks on cross said in a text to Schlitter, didn’t she say she was scared “sh*#less,” about being investigated for child abuse.
Parmer said she was referring to being scared for Kamryn. Schlitter told her the child abuse investigation over the bruises had been unfounded.
He then asked Parmer why Heather Meyers, a friend of her’s, would lie about Parmer telling her “I might have killed a kid?”
Parmer said she “misheard” her. She told her “DHS thinks I killed a baby.”
Maybanks then asked Parmer if she tried to make Schlitter look bad to police to divert attention from her. This was after a text message where Parmer seemed to think Schlitter didn’t believe her about not harming Kamryn that night.
Parmer said no.
“March 28, (2010), do you remember what happened,” Maybanks asked.
“No,” Parmer said.
“Kamryn died that day,” Maybanks said.