Nov. 7 (UPI) -- In Iowa jury on Tuesday found a man guilty for the August 2017 death of his 4-month-old son who was found dead and sitting in a mechanical swing and infested with maggots.
Zachary Paul Koehn, 29, was convicted of murder and child endangerment. He will be sentenced to life without parole at a later date, the Des Moines Register reported.
Assistant Attorney General Denise Timmins commended jurors for the guilty verdict, which took less than an hour for deliberations.
"We clearly appreciate the jury's time. It was an extremely difficult case for anybody to observe," Timmins said, according to the Courier.
The baby's mother, 21-year-old Cheyanne Harris, has also been charged for murder and child endangerment. She has pleaded not guilty and her trial is pending after she won a request for a change of venue.
Investigators found that the baby, Sterling Koehn, was severely neglected by his parents and died a slow, painful death from from malnutrition, dehydration and infection.
Zachary Koehn called police on Aug. 30, 2017 to report the death. When investigators arrived, they found that Sterling had been in the same diaper for up to two weeks. That diaper was full of feces and had attracted flies, which laid eggs, leading to a maggot infestation.
Sterling had such severe diaper rash that his skin ruptured and he became infected with E. coli bacteria.
Koehn was not destitute and made about $45,000 per year in his job as a local truck driver and had access to medical insurance.
Sterling was reportedly kept inside a bedroom for his short life and few knew he existed. A former friend of Koehn said he was unaware that Koehn had an infant son.
During trial, Koehn considered Harris responsible for Sterling's death and said he "put his trust in the wrong person."