New Hampton man charged with murder in Charles City infant’s death found guilty of lesser charge

CHARLES CITY — A New Hampton man charged with murder in the death of an infant in Charles City two years ago has been convicted of a lesser charge by a Floyd County jury. 

25-year-old Shane Morris was arrested on March 9th of 2020 and charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death in connection with the death of his three-and-a-half month old child. Prosecutors say Morris was taking care of the child at a Charles City home on the morning of August 3rd, 2019, where he committed an act which caused the child to be transported to the Floyd County Medical Center. The child was later airlifted to the Mayo Clinic hospitals in Rochester.  Medical staff say they observed a large bulge on the side of the child’s head with tests showing a skull fracture that was likely a result of non-accidental trauma.

Morris contends that while he was walking with the child in his arms that he tripped, the child’s head struck the edge of their kitchen counter, and that he fell on the floor with the child under him.

After deliberating most of the day on Thursday, the jury found Morris guilty of the child endangerment charge, a Class B forcible felony with a potential 50 year prison sentence, but the jury reduced the murder charge to involuntary manslaughter, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Morris is scheduled to be sentenced on March 25th.