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Crime News

Mother ‘Emotionless’ After Being Sentenced To Life For Death Of Baby Found In Maggot-Infested Diaper

Sterling Koehn died of neglect and was left to rot in a feces-filled, maggot-infested diaper. Now both his parents will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

By Gina Tron

The Iowa mother of a neglected infant whose corpse was discovered in 2017 wearing a feces-filled, maggot-infested diaper has been sentenced to life behind bars.

Cheyanne Harris, 21, was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder and child endangerment for the death of her 4-month-old son Sterling Koehn. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Tuesday, according to local outlet KOMO. The young mother sat quietly as she was sentenced, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports.

No family members were present in the courtroom during the sentencing.

Kim Theis, a person who lives in a nearby town did attend the sentencing while wearing a ribbon to honor Sterling Koehn.

“I don’t understand how she can sit emotionless like that,” she told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “I was tearing up in there, and I saw nothing from her.”

The infant’s diaper had not been changed for between nine and 14 days, and E. coli bacteria in the feces made its way into his bloodstream. That, along with dehydration and malnutrition, caused his death. As he was dying, left alone in a hot room in a baby swing, insects lay eggs on his body that turned into maggots, according to the Des Moines Register. Shockingly he died weighing only slightly more than when he was born. Initially, the boy's father, Zachary Koehn, claimed his son died from sudden infant death syndrome. There was blood coming out of his mouth and his fists were clenched when police arrived on the scene at an apartment in Alta Vista.

Zachary Koehn had been found guilty on the same charges as Harris back in December. He was also sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars, without the possibility of parole.