On Wednesday afternoon, August 23, 2017, DANIEL L. LACEY, d/o/b 4-07-1988, of Branson, was sentenced to twelve (12) years in prison and seven (7) years in prison, respectively, for two (2) counts of child abuse, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Judge Eric Eighmy sentenced Lacey to the maximum sentence possible under Lacey’s plea agreement. Lacey’s sentences are to run concurrently with one another.
Lacey pled guilty to one count of the class C felony of child abuse for biting the child, for which he was sentenced to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Lacey also pled guilty to one count of the class B felony of child abuse for causing serious physical injury – specifically, the acute subdural hematoma – for which he was sentenced to twelve (12) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
On October 19, 2016, Lacey and his wife took their 8-week-old child to the Cox Hospital emergency department, in Branson, to be examined for undetermined medical concerns. Lacey told medical care providers that the child had squirmed out of his arms and fallen onto a couch, while his wife was at work earlier that day. Doctors diagnosed the child with acute subdural hematoma – both bilateral and posterior – and found that the injuries were not consistent with a fall described by Lacey. Furthermore, the child was observed to have bruises that appeared to be possible bite marks on at least four (4) different body parts. Upon questioning by detectives with the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, Lacey admitted to biting the child – which was corroborated through DNA testing on one of the bite marks.