A Leesburg man was sentenced to more than two years of incarceration for assaulting a police officer, causing a brain injury to the cop.
Chris Allen Lanham, 24, was sentenced on Oct. 11 to two years and six months in the Virginia Department of Corrections for assault and battery of a law enforcement officer. Judge Alfred D. Swersky imposed the sentence.
Lanham was arrested Oct. 6, 2012. Leesburg Police Officers responded to a fight between two brothers. As officers approached, Lanham, who was severely intoxicated, began to yell, swear and make fists as he challenged the officers to fight. The officers arrested Lanham for drunk in public, but as Lanham was being escorted to the police car, he tried to escape and headbutted an officer. The officer suffered a laceration above the eye and brain damage.
At the sentencing hearing, the injured officer, who is no longer able to work for the Leesburg Police Department, talked about how his injury has caused lasting effects, such as constant headaches, vision problems and memory loss. During his testimony, he said "... whatever punishment [Lanham] is given can't make up for the situation."
In addition to the active sentence of two years and six months, Swersky imposed another two years and six months of suspended time. Lanham will also be on probation for five years.
“Law enforcement officers respond to private domestic disputes daily,” Swersky said to Lanham during sentencing. “These officers put their lives and fortunes on the line and a loud message needs to be sent to the community that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”