Tennessee man faces murder charge; autopsy shows abuse led to daughter's death 22 years later

Tennessee man faces murder charge; autopsy shows abuse led to daughter's death 22 years later

July 10th, 2014 by Christopher Merchant in Local Regional News

Anthony Shannon Lane is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his daughter, Amanda.

Anthony Shannon Lane is charged with first-degree murder...

The Daily News Journal

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A man serving a 25-year sentence for child abuse has been charged with first-degree murder after an autopsy revealed the beating he gave his then-infant daughter led to her death last year at age 22, authorities said.

Anthony Shannon Lane, 41, was convicted of aggravated child abuse in 1992 for attacking and critically injuring Amanda Michelle Lane-Woodall when she was 5 weeks old, according to a news release from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and upon his release was charged and convicted of aggravated child abuse of a second child, her half-brother Ryan Lane.

Anthony Lane, who is serving a 25-year sentence for the second conviction at Hardeman County Correctional Facility, was charged Monday with first-degree murder in Lane-Woodall's death. An autopsy performed by the state medical examiner's office showed her manner of death was homicide, caused by complications of blunt-force head injury.

Lane-Woodall's case was investigated in 1991 by Sheriff's Office Detectives Chuck Thomas and J.D. Driver, resulting in the conviction of Lane and Lane-Woodall's biological mother, Stephanie Pinson, according to the release. Pinson was convicted on a charge of accessory after the fact of child abuse. She was sentenced to two years in jail.

Cold case detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin and Detective Steve Kohler questioned a number of doctors and other witnesses before presenting the most recent charges against Anthony Lane to the district attorney's office, according to the release.

Rutherford County foster parent Nancy Woodall-Holmes, of LaVergne, began caring for Amanda when she was 3 months old, according to the news release.

"She could only do less than a newborn baby," Woodall-Holmes said in the release. "She couldn't suck or swallow. She was blind and nonverbal, fed through a tube in the stomach."

Lane-Woodall required daily injections for diabetes, and she also suffered seizures and had cerebral palsy, according to the report.

"The only movement she had was her seizures," Woodall-Holmes said. "She stayed in the same bed for 22 years."

Lane-Woodall first met her half-brother, who also was injured by Lane, when therapists asked if other special-needs children could use her swimming pool.

"She and Ryan had their wheelchairs next to each other, and their hands touched," Woodall-Holmes stated in the release. "It was like they made a connection with each other."

Woodall-Holmes said she hopes this case leads to longer sentences for child abusers so they do not have the chance to commit such crimes again.

"I want Amanda's death to mean something," she said in the news release. "I want her life to mean something. ... Amanda had a life sentence. Her brother had a life sentence. Her death ended in a death sentence. I don't think we should accept anything less than that for [Lane.]"

Anthony Lane is being held in Rutherford County Adult Detention Center pending a court hearing on July 18.

Contact Christopher Merchant at cmerchant@tnmedia.com or 615-278-5109.