CARO, MI — Nearly a year after he stabbed his girlfriend to death and grievously wounded their baby daughter, a Tuscola County man has learned he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Tuscola County Circuit Judge Amy Grace Gierhart on Thursday, Nov. 12, sentenced 38-year-old Larry E. Lyons to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The sentence is mandatory for those convicted of first-degree murder.
Gierhart also sentenced Lyons to concurrent terms of 46.8 to 100 years, 13.3 to 20 years, 2.6 to four years, and two terms of 6.6 to 10 years. She gave Lyons credit for 333 days served in all six terms.
A jury in October found Lyons guilty of all six counts he faced — first-degree murder, assault with intent to commit murder, second-degree child abuse, third-degree child abuse, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, and third-offense domestic violence. The trial was held at Caro Knights of Columbus Hall in Indianfields Township, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The convictions stem from an incident that occurred the night of Dec. 15. About 7:15 p.m., Tuscola County Sheriff’s deputies and Michigan State Police troopers responded to Lyons’ home at 2900 Gerou Road in Ellington Township, northeast of Caro, for a serious assault complaint.
In charging documents, Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene alleged Lyons repeatedly stabbed 36-year-old Brandy Marie Dickson as she held their 11-month-old daughter. The child suffered cuts and a stab wound to her head, as well as a skull fracture and bleeding in her brain, the documents state.
Police found Dickson outside the residence with a knife nearby. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital but succumbed to her wounds.
The baby was taken via helicopter to a hospital for treatment.
Lyons surrendered to police without incident upon their arrival.
“The term that got used most often in regards to (the baby) throughout the trial and up until today is ‘miracle,’” Reene said in speaking with MLive. “The fact she survived is a miracle.”
The child is currently living with relatives and is making progress.
“The final point she’s able to make it to remains undetermined,” Reene said. “She’ll turn 2 in January. At this point, given what she’s suffered and the extent of her injury, which was explained to jurors in great detail, it was certainly far more likely she would have died as opposed to live.”
Lyons’ defense attorneys, Jill L. Schmidt and Jessica Riskey, argued at trial that Lyons did not act with premeditation when he attacked his girlfriend and daughter. Lyons did not testify on his own behalf and thus did not share a motive for the assault, Reene said.
“When you look at the totality of the circumstances of what happened here, the thing that continues to resonate is few people deserve more than what he got with the sentence,” Reene said. “It was so avoidable. There was just absolutely no reason whatsoever for either (Dickson or her daughter) to have been harmed in the first place, much less Brandy being stabbed 18 times and (the baby) suffering the injuries that she did.”
In addition to her daughter, Dickson is survived by a teenage son. Dickson graduated from Cass City High School in 2001, according to her obituary. She later attended Baker College and earned an associate degree in massage therapy in 2005. She obtained a medical assistant degree in 2006.
Published at Thu, 12 Nov 2020 12:30:00 +0000