Jazlynn Harshbarger

Jazlynn Harshbarger

COUNCIL BLUFFS — A Council Bluffs man has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death for the April 2018 death of a 16-month-old child.

Javon Jennings, 22, faces a maximum of 55 years in prison — 50 years on the child endangerment charge and five for involuntary manslaughter.

Jennings, who had been charged with murder in the case, had faced life in prison without parole, but a jury acquitted him of the murder charge.

Jennings’ attorneys, Guy Weinstein and Christopher Roth, said after Friday’s verdict that an appeal is likely.

“We were hopeful for a complete acquittal,” Roth said. “But we take to heart that the jury ruled out murder in a case that is heartbreaking — a girl lost her life.”

Jennings was accused of killing Jazlynn Harshbarger, who was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at the home Jennings shared with the girl’s mother.

Autopsy results concluded that Jazlynn died of blunt-force trauma, having suffered numerous injuries including internal bleeding, a lacerated liver and a fractured femur.

After the verdict, Jennings was handcuffed by Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputies and led out of the courtroom.

Jazlynn’s family gathered on the fifth floor of the Pottawattamie County Courthouse, speaking with prosecutors through tears. Many wore T-shirts or buttons with Jazlynn’s image, reading “Justice for Jazlynn.”

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