The Iowa Court of Appeals has thrown out part of Scott County man’s plea agreement in the death of his girlfriend’s child. Brian Fix faced multiple charges in the death of his girlfriend’s two-month old son in November of 2009.
The child had suffered from multiples injures and died from head injuries that investigators say happened while Fix was babysitting. A plea agreement was reach where a first-degree murder charge was dropped to involuntary manslaughter, multiple charges of child endangerment were dropped to child endangerment causing serious injury, and a charge of child endangerment resulting in death remained.
Both sides agreed the sentences would run consecutively for a prison term of 65 years. Fix pled guilty to the charges and admitted to causing the injuries to the child. Fix’s later appealed his sentence based on Iowa’s one homicide rule, where a person convicted of separate homicide counts cannot be sentenced on both counts if there was only one victim.
Prosecutors argued Fix’s case is an exception to the rule because he agreed to a plea bargain. The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that child endangerment causing death is a homicide charge and combined with the involuntary manslaughter charge, the one homicide rule applies. It said the plea agreement does not override the one homicide rule.
Prosecutors asked that the plea agreement be thrown out so they could have the option of going back to the original charges. But the Appeals Court said it would follow a ruling in a similar case and threw out the involuntary manslaughter charge and ordered Fix resentenced on the other two charges.
See the complete ruling here: Fix ruling PDF