Four-month-old found dead with maggot infestation was left in same diaper for 9 to 14 days
The baby's father, 29-year-old Zachary Paul Koehn, has been charged with murder and child endangerment
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A prosecutor in the trial of a father who has been charged with murder and child endangerment after the child's body was found infested with maggots in a baby swing last year in Iowa has told the jury that the man's infant son "died of a diaper rash". Coleman McAllister, the Assistant Iowa Attorney General, told the jurors on October 30 that four-month-old Sterling Koehn had been sitting in the same diaper for 9 to 14 days when his body was discovered in the baby swing on August 30, 2017, at the Alta Vista apartment where his family stayed.
The Courier reported that the baby's father, 29-year-old Zachary Paul Koehn, has been charged with murder and child endangerment. Cheyanne Harris, the infant's mother, has also been charged and is scheduled to appear in a separate trial set for a later date.
Zachary Paul Koehn, 29, is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death, and jury selection began today in Mount Pleasant following a venue change at the request of the defense. https://t.co/27LTo2XGHz pic.twitter.com/StWBjHUmn6— The Courier (@wcfcourier) October 29, 2018
McAllister also said at the trial in his opening statements that the heavily soiled diaper of the infant had attracted bugs which had all laid eggs eventually hatching into maggots. The diaper rash which was a cause of this ruptured the child's skin and e.Coli bacteria took over. McAllister said: "He died of diaper rash. That's right, diaper rash."
A coronoer's report of the child showed that he died of malnutrition, dehydration, and the infection. McAllister said in his opening statement that the death of the infant was a tragedy and not a crime. He denied the defense's claims and said that Koehn was an experienced parent.
He went on to note that the couple's two-year-old daughter was also in the same apartment but was healthy. He also made a mention of how the father had enough money to buy food and all the baby supplies. McAllister also stated that Koehn was a drug user.
Toni Friedrich, a nurse and county rescue squad EMT, testified on October 30 at the trial and said that she was the first one to arrive at the apartment after the father called 911 to report that his infant had died. The nurse said that Koehn showed no emotion whatsoever when he led her to the dark and hot bedroom where his baby's body was.
She said that the baby's "eyes were open, and it was a blank stare". Friedrich also said that when she touched the infant's chest, his clothing felt crusty. She also said that when she moved the blanket away from his body, gnats flew up.
Koehn's trial had been moved to Henry County from Chickasaw County so as to minimize the pretrial publicity.