Harris denied new trial, sentenced to life in prison

Cheyanne Renae Harris, center, enters the courtroom prior to sentencing on Feb. 19, 2019. Also pictured are defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker and Chief Deputy Reed Palo. (Jeff Reinitz/WCFCourier.com)

New Hampton, Iowa – Cheyenne Harris will be spending the rest of her life in prison.

The 20-year-old’s request for a new trial was denied Tuesday morning by Judge Richard Stochl.

Inside of the Chickasaw County courtroom, Harris sat emotionless as Stochl read the sentence of life without parole, which is the maximum sentence under first degree murder.

Harris’s defense lawyer Aaron Hawbaker argued the state had not presented enough evidence to satisfy the child endangerment clause.

He says the state’s case of food deprivation was not specific enough to meet the state standard of cruelty, torture or unreasonable force resulting in death under state law.

Assistant Attorney General Diane Timmons said Harris’s acts were deliberate by “putting a curtain over the window and turning the chair toward the wall…The child was starved to death.”

Stochl ultimately agreed with the state.

Hawbaker declined to comment after the hearing.