Neglect leads to 3-year sentence

GREENFIELD — A Fortville man has been sentenced to three years in prison after the 6-month-old left in his care suffered a skull fracture.

David Lanning, 44, of Fortville, also was ordered Wednesday to serve two years on probation and to have no contact with the child.

Lanning and his girlfriend, Lisa Bozymski, 43, of McCordsville, were charged in January 2014 after a child they were baby-sitting suffered injuries medical experts say were consistent with shaken-baby syndrome. Exams showed the baby suffered a skull fracture, multiple soft-tissue injuries and bruising to her face and scalp, court records state.

In early June, moments before Lanning’s trial was to begin, he agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in injury.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped a felony battery charge he also faced.

Lanning’s attorney, Greg Spencer of Indianapolis, asked Hancock Circuit Judge Richard Culver to look kindly on his client because Lanning has the full support of the victim’s family. Spencer asked the judge to consider placing Lanning in a home detention or community corrections program, rather than in prison.

But a lengthy criminal history, including several ongoing cases outside Indiana, make Lanning’s situation troublesome, Culver said.

In court, Culver compared Lanning to the title character in “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” saying the support Lanning has received from loved ones cannot overshadow his 11 convictions.

“You’re not the first person I’ve see that has some good traits,” Culver said. “You have people who are ready to help you, … yet you hurt them because you’re destructive. That’s what’s so confusing about you.”

While Lanning was being held in the Hancock County Jail, he failed to appear in court on a drug-related charge in Missouri, where he was on parole at the time. Once Lanning has served his time in Indiana, he will be taken to Missouri to face a judge there.

Bozymski originally faced the same charges as Lanning but agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal recklessness. Prosecutors dropped the battery and neglect charges she faced, and she was sentenced last month to serve 180 days on probation.

Lanning and Bozymski told investigators the child fell off a bed in the middle of the night and became wedged between the bed and a nightstand.

Lanning and Bozymski admitted they did not seek medical attention for the child when her injuries became apparent. They said the child fell around 4 a.m.; they took her to a clinic around 6 p.m.

Prosecutors said doctors at Riley Hospital for Children could not pinpoint a time frame for the child’s injuries, which affected their decision to drop the couple’s battery charges. Defense attorneys were expected to argue someone else hurt the child before leaving her in the couple’s care.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or