Mum jailed for life after tiny baby left to rot to death in maggot-infested swing

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maggot infested baby dead rot swing iowa cheyenne harris

PLEA: Harris has pled not guilty to the charges (Pic: CHICKASAW COUNTY SHERIFF OFFICE)

Cheyanne Harris, 22, showed no emotion after she was sentenced yesterday in New Hampton, Iowa.

The drug-addicted mum had pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death but was found guilty by jurors who took just four hours to deliver their verdict.

Her son, Sterling Koehn, was found rotting and bleeding from the mouth in a stifling apartment bedroom on August 30, 2017, in Chickasaw County.

PLEA: Harris pled not guilty to the charges (Pic: CHICKASAW COUNTY SHERIFF)

Harris was arrested after medics found the baby.

The baby’s autopsy shows he died of malnutrition, dehydration and an E. coli infection caused by being left in a maggot-infested nappy in a swing for up to two weeks.

The boy’s dad, Zachary Paul Koehn, has been sentenced to life in prison for the neglect.

During his trial, assistant attorney general Coleman McAllister described how the baby’s filthy nappy had attracted bugs which laid eggs and hatched into maggots.

DEATH: Baby Sterling Koehn died aged just four months old (Pic: NC)

COURT CASE: Cheyanne Harris’ son ‘died from nappy rash’ (Pic: FACEBOOK)

The resulting nappy rash led to ruptured skin and e.Coli bacteria set in.

“He died of diaper rash. That’s right, diaper rash,” McAllister said.

The baby’s dad was said to have made £34,500 a year and had access to health insurance but the court heard the apartment smelled of decay, faeces and urine.

Police said they found everything needed to care for a child such as new diapers and baby ointment to treat the rash, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports.

JAILED: Baby Sterling’s dad Zachary Paul Koehn (Pic: CHICKASAW COUNTY SHERIFF)

‘TRAGEDY’: Dad Koehn’s defence argued the tot’s death was not a crime (Pic: FACEBOOK)

The infant was “rotting”, and a medical examiner found maggots in his clothing and skin.

He weighed less than seven pounds, reports the Des Moines Register.

A forensic entomologist who examined insects on the infant’s body concluded he had been left in the swing from nine to 14 days in the same diaper.

Nurse and county rescue squad emergency medical technician Toni Friedrich testified that she was the first to arrive at the apartment after Koehn called 911 to report the baby had died.

JAILED: Cheyanne Harris, 21, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder (Pic: NC)

DEAD: The baby’s autopsy shows he died of malnutrition, dehydration and infection (Pic: NC)

Friedrich said Koehn showed no emotion when he led her to the dark, hot bedroom where the baby’s body was.

She said the baby’s “eyes were open, and it was a blank stare”.

Friedrich said when she touched the baby’s chest, his clothing was crusty. When she moved his blanket, gnats flew up, she said.

Harris wore jail stripes and an orange jacket, and no family members attended her sentencing hearing.

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