A Cerro Gordo County jury last night returned a guilty verdict in the death of a baby in Clear Lake. Judge Paul Riffel read the verdict in the case of 25-year-old Christopher Holmes. Holmes was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in serious injury. Holmes was originally charged with first-degree murder in the February 2001 death of Jevon Littleton, which had been ruled a “shaken baby” case. Holmes’ attorney Susan Flander says decision was not a total loss, since the charges were those offered to Holmes by the state as part of a plea agreement deal before the trial. Flander says it’s difficult to try a case involving the death of a child, but says the “shaken-baby” death concept is always being questioned and revisited. The child had suffered a seizure when he was two days old and the defense said he could have died from another one, or from injuries as he was being put into a car seat. A University of Iowa ocular pathologist testified about bleeding in the brain and the defense said no witness could say Holmes shook the baby before paramedics were called to the apartment he shared with the child’s mother in February of 2001. Holmes faces ten years on the involuntary manslaughter charge and another five years on the child endangerment charge.
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