The Washington Times-Herald

May 21, 2013

Lyons gets 65 years

Lindsay Owens
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Dressed in a bright green jumpsuit and escorted by members of the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Corey Mitchell Lyons, 23, entered the court room, and sat hunched over a table with his family sitting behind. On the other side of the room sat family members of a baby who was life was taken to soon and the mother of Lyons’ child Savanna Johnson.

Nearly two years after four-month-old Levi Lyons died of blunt force trauma to the head, his father, Corey, was sentenced to 65 years in the Indiana Department of corrections with 10 years suspended and credit for 694 days served. Lyons will also be receiving psychiatric services while incarcerated.

“As I have said before, there are no winners in a murder case. The facts in this case are especially horrific because the one person this little baby should have counted on for protection, his father, is the person who took his life,” said Dan Murrie, prosecutor.

Murrie presented no witnesses during the hearing, but Lyons’ attorney, Tonya Shaw presented information to Judge Dean Sobecki that showed the mental state of her client was not stable.

Shaw’s evidence showed that Lyons had been under psychiatric care until he reached age 18 and had previously been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intermittent explosive disorder and bipolar syndrome, and falls within the lower 10 percentile in cognitive ability.

Lyons had been under the care of doctors in the Nashville, Tenn. area before he moved to Washington.

Lyons' mother stated that when her son turned 18, he no longer qualified to be on the family insurance policy and getting a policy of his own would have been more than he could have afforded. His mother also stated that Corey had anger issues and impulse control issues that prevented him from being able to think things through before acting on his emotions.

She also said she was unaware of the programs and options for her son since she was living in Tennessee, and Lyons was in Indiana. Lyons had been off his medication approximately two months when he came to Indiana.

Nancy Cain, Lyons grandmother said that her grandson, “was a handful and at times he was even a danger to himself. When he was younger, we took him to the park and had him by the hand and he tried to run into the street. My husband was able to grab him.” Cain said her grandson was a much different person when he was on the proper medications.

“Things that would be minor to us, would be monumental to him. He didn’t have the ability to tell the difference. He would have an episode and then he would get embarrassed then lie and then become depressed when he didn't (have the medication),” Lyons said. “When he was on the medication, you could see when he would start to get agitated and he could be redirected. He could tell when he needed a time out.”

Randy Johnson, Levi’s grandfather, said he had met Corey in 2009 and felt sorry for him. He represented the family.

“He didn’t have any problems, none, besides being lazy,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the night of the incident, June 27, 2011, he had taken Savanna to the hospital to get a shot and had only been gone 10 minutes. Lyons had become agitated by the crying baby and slammed baby Levi’s head onto the floor at least three times before going to a neighbor’s residence and calling for 911. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital.