The Iowa Supreme Court -has- agreed to review a controversial child endangerment case from northwest Iowa. Lawyers for Heidi Watkins of Spirit Lake are asking that her 50-year prison sentence be thrown out. They claim it was never proven in court that Watkins had anything to do with the beating and death of her two-year-old daughter Shelby Duis in January of 2000. Watkins’former live-in boyfriend, Jesse Wendelsdorf, was blamed for the abuse and the death, but he was acquitted of murder and all other charges. The case caused a statewide firestorm with the backlash hitting the state Department of Human Services for not having done more to save the little girl from the abuse that eventually killed her. Earlier this summer, the state Court of Appeals upheld Watkins’ conviction, saying she knew Wendelsdorf was a threat and should have acted.
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