Police: Man accused of injuring Blanco toddler assaulted officers

John Cody Lawrence - Burnet County Sheriffs Office)
John Cody Lawrence - (Burnet County Sheriffs Office)

BLANCO, Texas (KXAN) — New charges are expected against the man accused of injuring and sexually assaulting Blanco toddler Sunny Bort, who died from her injuries last week.

The new charges come after John Cody Lawrence’s alleged assault on officers in the Blanco County Jail on May 5.

Fifteen-month-old Sunny Dakota Slade-Bort died Thursday morning (Jamie Petronella Facebook Photo)
Fifteen-month-old Sunny Dakota Slade-Bort died Thursday morning (Jamie Petronella Facebook Photo)

Lawrence, 24, and Bort’s mother, Jamie Petronella, 23, were arrested on May 5 and charged with injury to a child. The Blanco County Sheriff’s Office says Lawrence became aggressive in the jail and detention officers requested help. “We’re not going to comment on what may have started the interaction, but the officers were doing their routine check and it was during that… the altercation occurred,” said Blanco County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Ben Ablon.

Deputies say Lawrence charged an officer and assaulted him. During a struggle, Lawrence assaulted other officers before he was finally restrained. The officers suffered minor injuries, the department said Friday.

On May 3, Bort was found by police lying on the living room floor as the mother’s boyfriend, Lawrence, attempted to perform CPR. Emergency crews noticed the child had bruises on both sides of her mouth as well as a large “dried wound on her face.”

Lawrence told police the large bruise on Bort’s face was a result of him trying to “rub” out the bruise, claiming he pushed too hard, the police affidavit states.

The toddler was flown to University Hospital in San Antonio for treatment, where hospital staff indicated the child had head trauma as well as a spinal injury. Doctors also noted there was evidence of sexual assault to the child.

The 15-month-old died two days later on the morning of May 5.

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