The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of a Des Moines man involved in the death of a seven-month-old child.
Matthew Elliott appealed to the court on his convictions for child endangerment causing death and willful injury causing serious injury in the death of Alexis Gilbert. Elliott had been staying with Gilbert’s mother in West Des Moines in 2008 when the child died.
Elliott was originally charged with first degree murder in the case, but in 2009 he was convicted of child endangerment causing death and willful injury causing serious injury. He was granted a new trial in the case after the Iowa Supreme Court determined improper testimony had been allowed in the original trial.
In April of 2012, in his second trial, a jury convicted Elliott of the same charges. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
In his appeal, Elliott claimed information about prior convictions for failing to comply with the sex offender registry should not have been part of the trial. The Court of Appeals says in its ruling, “The description of each conviction was limited to ‘involving dishonesty or false statement,’ so the jury was unaware the convictions were related to sex offender registry offenses.”
The court says it found substantial evidence to support the jury’s decision.