Tenn. man charged with murder 23 years after abusing infant daughter

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A Tennessee man convicted and jailed for abusing his two infant children is charged with murder — 23 years later.

Anthony Shannon Lane was convicted in 1992 of beating his 5-week-old daughter Amanda so badly she lived the rest of her life in bed: blind and unable to talk or move, except for seizures, said her mother, Nancy Woodall-Holmes, who first fostered and then adopted Amanda.

Amanda died last year at age 22 and on Monday, Lane, 41, was charged with first-degree murder in Amanda’s death.

“She was such a treasure,” said Woodall-Holmes, who became Amanda’s foster parent on a Christmas Eve.

At the time, she was told Amanda had a short life expectancy and her placement would be temporary. “I can’t put into words just how precious she was,” said Woodall, who adopted Amanda at age 4

“We will work with the district attorney’s office in the prosecution of this case for justice for Amanda,” said Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold.

According to an autopsy by the state medical examiner’s office, Amanda’s death was a homicide, caused by complications of blunt force head injury.

Lane’s first court hearing is scheduled for July 18.

Second infant abused

After serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated child abuse of Amanda, Lane had a son, Ryan, who was abused at 3 months old, according to court documents.

Lane was convicted in 2003, again of aggravated child abuse, and is serving a 25-year prison sentence for that assault.

Ryan suffered cerebral palsy, brain injury, blindness, epilepsy and failure to thrive from the abuse, according to a pediatrician who testified in the case.

Justice for Amanda

Ryan is in a wheelchair and was adopted by a family near Amanda’s home, said her mother.

“We were able to get the children together, and it seemed like they made a connection with each other,” said Woodall-Holmes. “He was there when she died. His hand was touching her hand.”

Woodall-Holmes said the murder charges against Lane, even 23 years later, will have an affect on victims of abuse.

“It may take 23 years but justice will be served. That’s the message I want to get out there.”

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