Tahlequah Daily Press

December 12, 2012

Sex offender admits failing to register

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A convicted sex offender arrested in Wagoner in late November has pleaded guilty for failing to register, and is set to spend time in prison.

James Richard Lanning, 59, had received a five-year suspended sentence in 2010 for the same charge, but he recently moved from Cherokee County and failed to notify authorities.

A warrant on the 2010 case was issued, and Sheriff’s Investigator James Brown caught Lanning in Wagoner last month. He was quickly charged in Cherokee County for again failing to register as a sex offender.

Lanning initially pleaded not guilty on an attempted revocation of his previous suspended sentence, but on Tuesday, he pleaded guilty on the new felony charge. His previous suspended sentence was revoked, according to court records, and Lanning is now set to spend 2-1/2 years in prison, with the remaining 2-1/2 years suspended.

Brown said Lanning had spent time living in Pryor and Chouteau after leaving Cherokee County, and was living in an abandoned building in Wagoner, near the town’s McDonald’s and Walmart businesses.

Lanning was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts to a child under age 14 in San Diego.

Court records show he had failed to register as required by law at other locations.