Parents plead not guilty in death of infant son

Press staff report

A man and a woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of their infant son have entered pleas of not guilty in Chickasaw County District Court.

Court records show that Zachary Paul Koehn, 28, and Cheyanne Renae Harris, 20, filed written pleas of not guilty on Nov. 7 to charges of first-degree murder and felony child endangerment resulting in death. A trial date has not been set.

Cheyanne Renae Harris and Zachary Paul Koehn
Cheyanne Renae Harris and Zachary Paul Koehn

They are charged in the death of their 4-month-old son, Sterling Koehn, who was found dead in a baby swing on Aug. 30 in an apartment in Alta Vista after Koehn called 911, saying the boy was not responsive.

The two were arrested and charged on Oct. 25 after an investigation by the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.

A state medical examiner’s report said the child weighed less than 7 pounds and had not had a diaper change, a bath or been removed from the swing seat in more than a week. It said the child’s body and clothing contained maggots.

Koehn’s plea was filed by Steven John Drahozal, an attorney from Dubuque, and Harris’ plea was filed by Aaron Keith Hawbaker, an attorney from Waterloo.