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Iowa Supreme Court Contemplates Miranda Rights

Iowa Public Radio / John Pemble
The Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines, Iowa.

Wednesday is the first day of the Iowa Supreme Court's 2015-2016 session. The high court will hear five cases, including one questioning when someone should be given the Miranda Warning, which is the right to remain silent when in police custody and the right to legal counsel. 

Zyriah Schlitter was found guilty in 2012 of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in the death of his 17-month-old daughter Kamryn. During his trial, Schlitter made statements that conflicted with a taped interview conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. 

Though Schlitter drove himself to the interview and left on his own volition to have dinner with his family, he says he believed he was in DCI custody. Therefore Schlitter contends the taped interview is not admissible as evidence because he was never read the Miranda Warning.

The Iowa Court of Appeals sided with the state. Schlitter is asking the state supreme court to declare the Miranda Warning necessary and also that he had ineffective legal counsel. 

Schlitter is currently serving a 50-year-sentence with the possibility of parole.

In a separate trial Amy Parmer, Schlitter's former girlfriend, was also found guilty  involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. Parmer was caring for Kamryn when the toddler sustained her fatal head injuries. Parmer was sentenced to 50 years with the possibility of parole in 2013.