Tahlequah Daily Press

November 30, 2012

Sex offender found in Wagoner, back in jail

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A convicted sex offender is back in jail after he was found living in Wagoner County in an abandoned facility.

Sheriff’s Investigator James Brown arrested James Richard Lanning, 59, on Wednesday evening in Wagoner. Brown said Lanning had been living in the Moodys area of Cherokee County, but fell off the radar in September.

Probation and parole authorities notified Brown when they went to check on Lanning and didn’t find him, and deputies then began trying to track him down.

Brown said Lanning apparently spent time living in the Pryor and Chouteau areas before he ended up in Wagoner. Brown received help from the Wagoner Police Department in capturing Lanning at a convenience store there on Wednesday.

Lanning had reportedly been living in an abandoned building near Walmart and McDonald’s in Wagoner for two weeks.

“He admitted to knowing he was supposed to register, and admitted to running,” said Brown. “He said he knew he’d made a bad mistake.”

Brown said probation and parole authorities hope Lanning’s last suspended sentence will be revoked based on his arrest. He is set to appear in court Friday.

Court records from previous cases indicate Lanning was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts to a child under 14 in San Diego, and has failed to register as a sex offender at other locations.

He was arrested in Cherokee County in August 2010 for failure to register, and told deputies at the time that he was scared of going to prison. He pleaded guilty to that charge and received a five-year suspended sentence, plus fines, and was ordered to be supervised by probation and parole officials.