Jury finds Des Moines father guilty of child abuse after one day and one hour of deliberations

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A jury found a Des Moines father guilty as charged on all six counts of child endangerment. The jury took one day and one hour to decide that 22 year old Jonas Neiderbach is responsible for seriously injuring his infant son in 2009.

He walked into the courtroom this morning a free man. He left in handcuffs and showed little emotion as the verdict was read. The defense tried to argue that the baby could have suffered from a birth related brain injury and a brittle bone disorder. But the jury didn’t buy it. Prosecutors say the trial took an emotional toll on both families.

“It’s just a horrible tragedy. Ethan fortunately is in a good home now and is getting the best care he can possibly get so I’m happy about that,” says Assistant Polk County Attorney Steve Foritano.

Ethan Neiderbach, now Ethan Nelson, turns two one week from today. He can’t walk, he can’t talk and he has physical therapy three times a week. With his mother in prison and his father handcuffed and headed there, Foritano says it’s hard to claim victory.

“Obviously it’s tough on the families and everyone involved. So I don’t know if there are any winners,” he says.

The Neiderbach family did not comment on the outcome of the trial. Defense attorney Gary Dickey says they will file an appeal. Dickey also said the family wants to thank everyone for keeping Ethan in their thoughts and prayers.

Neiderbach’s sentencing is set for June 30th. The first and most serious charge of multiple counts of child endangerment carries a 50 year prison sentence. The other charges include the same injuries.