GALION — A Galion man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for harming his baby.
Mitchell T. Lawhun, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of assault, a second-degree felony, and one count of endangering children, on Tuesday in Crawford County Common Pleas Court. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on the assault charge and seven years for the endangering children charge. The sentences are to be served consecutively for a total of 15 years in prison.
One count of attempted murder was dismissed as part of Lawhun’s agreement with prosecutor.
Police reports show that the Galion Police Department received a call from Galion Community Hospital personnel on March 18 regarding a then four-month-old baby with a brain bleed.
Prosecutor Matthew Crall said the mother of the baby was at work, leaving the baby in the care of Lawhun, when the incident allegedly occurred and that she brought the baby to the hospital when she noticed injuries.
The baby was taken by medical helicopter to Nationwide Children’s Hospital where doctors found that she was suffering from a fractured skull and broken arm.
Lawhun offered police officers several different stories of how the injuries could have occurred to the child, but doctors treating the child said none correspond with her injuries. In an earlier court appearance, Lawhun said that he was vacuuming while holding the child and dropped her. According to reports from the baby’s doctors, the injuries sustained are the result of child abuse or shaken baby syndrome.
Crall said a 2-year-old child, also left in the care with Lawhun at the time of the incident, had been placed temporarily with a family member.
Crall said the baby bears Lawhun’s last name but he is not sure if Lawhun is the biological father.
Court records show that Lawhun was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, driving under suspension, failure to control, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and a seat belt violation on March 7. Lawhun also was charged with domestic violence in Richland County twice in 2014 with one of the charges being dismissed and the other being reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. He had two warrants out of Lexington for failure to appear and three probation violations from Richland County in 2015.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras