A former Chicago-area resident has been sentenced to life in prison in the 2015 death of his daughter in Bedford, Iowa.
District Judge John D. Lloyd passed the sentence against Charles Hall, 26, last week.
A jury returned two guilty verdicts in January in the death of 3-year-old Janyiah King at Hall’s home in Bedford, a city of about 1,400 about 100 miles southeast of Omaha.
Also sentenced last week was April Clair, 26, who was Hall’s live-in girlfriend on May 22 when she found Janyiah’s body. She had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury. Lloyd suspended her prison sentence and put her on probation for five years.
Clair initially was charged with child endangerment, but before the trial she pleaded guilty to child endangerment resulting in bodily injury, a lesser charge than the charge she initially faced, in return for truthful testimony in Hall’s trial.
On Tuesday, Hall’s lawyer filed notice that the sentence would be appealed, which frequently happens when a defendant receives a life sentence in Iowa.
Janyiah had been staying with Clair and Hall for several weeks. She normally lived in the Chicago area with her mother, Taylor County Attorney Clinton Spurrier has said.
At the trial, Clair testified that on May 22 she left their home at 9 a.m. She returned about 11:30 a.m. to find Hall outside the house, smoking a cigarillo. As he finished smoking, he said he needed to go get a tire fixed and left, Spurrier said.
Clair found Janyiah lying on the bathroom floor, unresponsive. An autopsy found that the child had died of asphyxiation, most likely by drowning, Spurrier said. The bathtub had standing water in it.
Both were charged with child endangerment causing serious injury.
The death was ruled a homicide, and prosecutors charged Hall with first-degree murder. Clair continued to face a charge because she did not seek medical help for the child after the girl suffered the injuries, Spurrier said.