FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:October 15, 2013
Contact: Heather F. WilliamsonCommonwealth’s Attorney’s Office20 East Market StreetLeesburg, VA 20176-2809(703) 777-0242
LEESBURG MAN CONVICTED OF ASSAULTING POLICE OFFICER
JUDGE IMPOSES TWO YEARS AND SIX MONTHS PRISON SENTENCE
LEESBURG, Virginia – October 11, 2013. Chris Allen Lanham, 24, appeared before Judge Alfred D. Swersky in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on one count of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer. Swersky imposed an active sentence of two years and six months in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
On October 6, 2012, Leesburg Police Department Officers responded to a physical altercation between two brothers. When approached by the officers Lanham began to yell, curse, and curl his fists challenging the officers to a fight. Officers observed Lanham to be extremely intoxicated and he was placed under arrest for drunk in public. While escorting Lanham to a police cruiser, Lanham attempted to pull away and head-butted one of the officers causing a severe laceration above his eye and a brain injury.
During his testimony at the sentencing hearing, the victim described his love for his job in law enforcement, saying that it was a “dynamic job where [he] had the ability to interact with people at every level.” The former Leesburg Police Officer went on to tell the Court how this injury has affected all aspects of his life and ended his career in law enforcement. He described suffering from constant headaches, vision problems, memory loss, and other lasting effects as a result of the brain injury. He asked the court to take into consideration his years of service to the Town of Leesburg when sentencing Lanham, and stated that “whatever punishment [Lanham] is given can’t make up for the situation.”
Prior to imposing a sentence, Swersky address Lanham directly, telling him that there needed to be serious consequences for his actions. “Law enforcement officers respond to private domestic disputes daily. 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.”
In addition to the total active sentence of two years and six months, Swersky imposed an additional two years and six months of suspended time. Upon his release from prison, Lanham will be placed on supervised probation for a period of five years. Should he violate the terms of his supervised probation a portion of or any balance of the suspended time may be imposed by the Court.