Trial dates set in infant murder case

Pretrial conferences and jury trials have been scheduled for a couple facing first-degree murder charges in the death of their four-month-old son.

The trials will be in Chickasaw County.

According to court documents, Zachary Koehn, accused of leaving his four-month-old son to die due to neglect, will face a pretrial conference Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. and a jury trial beginning Jan. 3, 2018, at 9 a.m.

Koehn, 28, and Cheyanne Harris, 20, filed written arraignments and “not guilty” pleas last Tuesday and Wednesday in Chickasaw County District Court in New Hampton. The two will be tried separately.

Harris will face a pretrial conference on Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. and a jury trial starting on Jan. 31 at 9:30 a.m.

Attorney Aaron Hawbaker with the Black Hawk County Public Defender’s Office is representing Harris, while Koehn is being represented by Steven Drahozal with the Dubuque County Public Defender’s Office.

Their baby, Sterling, was found deceased in his infant swing Aug. 30 in the apartments on Hilltop Ave. in Alta Vista. After a lengthy investigation, charges were filed by the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The two were arrested the following day for first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death.

The criminal complaint indicated the child hadn’t had a diaper change, bath or been removed from the swing in over a week. The investigation indicated the parents’ various accounts of the death were inconsistent with the findings of the autopsy and investigation.

“The cause of death was a failure to provide critical care,” the complaint states. “The facts of this case go far beyond neglect and show circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.”

Koehn is being held in the Chickasaw County jail while Harris is in Bremer County.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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