MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (KCRG) - Zachary Koehn was convicted of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death on Tuesday, related to a 2017 neglect incident that resulted in the death of his son.
According the the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Koehn was convicted after less than hour of deliberations by the jury. The conviction for first-degree murder will result in a mandatory sentence of life without parole.
A medical examiner said that Koehn's infant son, Sterling, had died of dehydration, malnutrition, and a diaper rash infection that had spread.
The defense pinned most of the blame for the infant's death on his girlfriend and child's mother, Chayenne Harris, calling her the primary caretaker who was suffering from depression. They said he was too busy trying to earn a living for his new family to see the signs of neglect.
Prosecutors said Koehn did not hold up his end of the responsibility for his child, no matter what Harris' actions were. They also cited his drug use as a factor in the situation that may have led to the neglect.
A separate trial for Harris is still pending.
Koehn will be sentenced at a future court proceeding.