Man found guilty of neglect to serve time in prison

A Brown County man found guilty of fracturing his infant son’s skull in 2016 was sentenced last week to serve four years in prison.

The sentence for Ryann Clark, 22, was 10 years in the Department of Corrections, but four years is the executed portion of it. He already has served nearly a year in jail — 327 days — and will get credit for that time served.

After he leaves prison, he will be on probation for six years, and the conditions will include him taking parenting classes and a mental health evaluation.

Clark requested a lawyer to look into his case at the appellate level.

In early 2017, Clark was charged with neglect and battery resulting in serious bodily injury after his infant son sustained a skull fracture and brain bruise in September 2016. Both charges were Level 3 felonies.

On Jan. 5, a jury of 11 women and one man found him guilty of neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury after deliberating for about an hour and a half. He was acquitted of the other felony charge.

The baby is experiencing developmental delays that could have been caused by the injury, police said.

The child was in the custody of Clark and Clark’s mother in September 2016 when the injury occurred.

Clark testified he was stepping over his dog with the child in his arms and the dog stood up. Without thinking, he threw the child onto a bed to avoid falling on him, he said. Clark testified on the last day of his trial that that’s what may have caused the baby to sustain a bump on his head, a skull fracture and a brain bruise.

“I would have crushed him. I didn’t have a choice. I reacted,” he testified.

Public defender Dan Reuter called the evidence against his client “speculation.” It wasn’t certain when the injuries actually happened, who was there when they happened and who had access to the baby, since he was living in two different homes with multiple occupants, Reuter said.

Prosecutor Ted Adams and Deputy Prosecutor Tom Barr argued during trial that Clark’s actions went against parental instincts.

Andre Loyd, a biomechanical specialist and accident reconstruction specialist, testified that the baby’s bump, skull fracture and brain bruise were all caused by the same incident, and that the baby could not have received the injuries from being thrown on the bed in the way Clark described.

Clark also has a misdemeanor theft matter pending in Brown County and has a prior felony conviction for sexual misconduct with a minor out of Monroe County. This sentence will run consecutively to the sentence in his sexual misconduct case.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.