Iowa court orders new trial in newborn’s death
IOWA CITY — An appeals court is overturning the second-degree murder conviction of a woman accused of drowning her newborn baby at an Iowa hotel.
The Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial Wednesday for Hillary Tyler, a former Mulhall, Oklahoma woman who was sentenced to 50 years in prison last year.
Tyler’s accused of killing the baby boy in September 2011 after giving birth in a Fort Dodge hotel room, where she had been staying for temporary work.
Police say that Tyler admitted to drowning the baby in the bathtub. She argued the confession was coerced.
The court says a judge erred by allowing the medical examiner to testify that the baby’s cause of death was drowning. The court says that was based on Tyler’s confession, and not his medical expertise.