The Ottumwa Courier

September 11, 2013

Jury convicts Mason City man in child's death


Ottumwa Courier

---- — MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A jury took less than 45 minutes to convict a Mason City man in connection with the 2012 death of his 18-month-old son.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1aqoOWB ) the Cerro Gordo County jury on Tuesday quickly found 30-year-old Kenneth L. Adams guilty of child endangerment resulting in death. Adams was charged after the Oct. 27, 2012, death of his son, Owen.

Prosecutors allege the boy head-butted his father, prompting Adams to hold the child face-down on a pillow.

Owen was taken to a Mason City hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"The fact that the verdict came back guilty does not bring back Owen. Owen is gone forever so we do not take any pleasure in this," Assistant Cerro Gordo County Attorney Blake Norman said. "But we do feel that justice was done for Owen."

In closing arguments, Norman told the jury that Adams enjoyed reading and was consumed by video games. Norman said Adams put his son face down on a pillow because he was eager to return to a video game.

"He wanted Owen to shut up. He wanted to get back to what he wanted to do — playing video games — and he can't do that with a screaming child," Norman said.

Defense attorney Susan Flander said in closing arguments that Adams didn't cause his son's death.

"He's responsible because he was there, not because of what he did," Flander said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 8. The conviction carries a mandatory sentence of 50 years in prison.

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Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/