A Cedar Rapids man who’s in prison for killing his 17-month-old daughter will get a new trial.
In 2012, a jury found Zyriah Schlitter guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison. His daughter, Kamryn, slipped into a coma and died of multiple head injuries in 2010.
The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled his lawyer was “ineffective” during the trial four years ago. The justices said the lawyer should have raised an objection to “speculation” that Schlitter had “intentionally” used “unreasonable force” to injure his daughter. The Supreme Court says because of that error, Schlitter gets a new trial.
The Iowa Supreme Court also advised the prosecutor who will retry the case to be “mindful” of what he says in his closing argument when the case is retried. Schlitter argued his lawyer during his first trial failed to object when the prosecutor told jurors they had a “sacred duty” to protect “the public and…the innocent.” The state’s highest court didn’t rule that the prosecutor’s statements were out of bounds, but the Supreme Court did say it’s unlikely the prosecutor will make the “same choice of words” in Schlitter’s retrial.