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Witnesses listed in infant death trial


Witnesses listed in infant death trial

Iowa City man's arraignment is Oct. 2

September 23, 2008

Lee Hermiston

Iowa City Press-Citizen

Close to 40 people could be called to testify against a former Iowa City man accused of killing his 21-month only son more than three years ago.

According to trial information filed Monday, 39 potential witnesses are listed in the second-degree murder case against Brian Dykstra, now of Central, S.C. He is to be arraigned Oct. 2.

According to police, Dykstra, 31, was home alone with his adopted son, Isaac, on Aug. 13, 2005.

After receiving a 911 hang-up call from Dykstra's residence, police called back and Dykstra said he thought the infant was having "a little seizure" and was having difficulty breathing.

Iowa City Police and Fire officers and Johnson County Ambulance personnel responded and found Isaac unconscious on the living room floor. He was taken to University Hospitals and diagnoses with massive brain swelling, severe bleeding inside the skull and retinal hemorrhaging. He was declared brain dead the next day.

Dykstra's story of what happened didn't add up for police, but he wasn't charged until August 2008, when Iowa City Police and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation concluded their suspicious death investigation, which placed the blame for the child's death on Dykstra.

Among the potential witnesses are six Iowa City police officers and nine doctors.

Iowa City attorney Leon Spies is representing Dykstra. If convicted, Dykstra faces 25 years in prison

2008 Sep 23