Addison Grace Lanham
June 9, 2009 - July 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial
The faces of children should ALWAYS have smiles on them. While searching for pictures of this beautiful, little Angel, I was only able to find two pictures where she was smiling. In the two pictures, was Addison and her mother, which SHOULD have been a good reason for a child to smile, unfortunately, Addison's mother wouldn't give her much to smile about when she started dating a registered sex offender who preyed on children.

Grandparents should never have to bury their grandchildren, but Scott and Paula Bridges had to do that very thing. On July 30, 2011, they laid to rest their beautiful granddaughter, Addison Grace Lanham. It was a tough time for them but they were grateful for all of the support they received from their community:

"We just want to tell how much we appreciate all the support, it shows that there really are
a lot of good great people in this world. This world is bad but there are a lot of great people.
We were just in awe of the support that we got"

Scott stated that he was touched deeply when the Gastonia chapter of the Guardians of the Children motorcycle group attended:

"They advocate against child abuse. Most of the time, bikers are stereotyped as rough people.
One prayed and read scripture at the graveside. The support has been unbelievable"

Scott said that the funeral director, Scott Greene of Greene's Funeral Service did a great job and had handled this professionally.

Shanna Lanham gave birth to her daughter and was living with her parents for about a year and a half after that. Shanna made the decision to leave her parents home and she moved in to an America's Best Inn, also moving in was her boyfriend, Jason Michael Wells, a known and registered child molester. Paula said that she knew her daughter wanted to get her life together, four months later, her granddaughter, Addison would be dead.

On July 21, 2011, Shanna left Addison alone with Jason and she went to work, and while Shanna was gone, Addison died. Shanna called 911 that day to say that her daughter was unresponsive and that she had cut her vagina while playing in the tub. Unknown to the responders was that Addison also had a broken leg which she had never received treatment for because her mother said she didn't want to lose her daughter. The price that Addison paid for her mother NOT wanting to lose her, was her life. It was reported that Addison was covered with bruises and that both of her eyes were swollen shut when paramedics got to the home.

Addison didn't die from the beating and possible raping she received, she died from an infection in her blood that was caused by her untreated broken leg. Some family members said that they had called DSS in an attempt to help Addison, who obviously had been being abused all along.

Shanna Lanham and Jason Michael Wells were arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and were each being held on $1 million dollar bonds.

Paula stated that she knew nothing about a DSS investigation and that she had not seen Addison since she and her mother had moved out. Scott said he thought Addison's death needed to be looked into and he and his wife were going to keep checking in to what happened with DSS by reading the papers. Paula also said that Shanna had another child which she had given up for adoption and with Addison gone, she no longer had any grandchildren. It was also reported that DSS had been visiting Shanna since at least May of that year.

Paula spoke about Shanna and said she had always been a loving mother who was there for her daughter and met her every need:

"I do know that Shanna loved her daughter with a passion. I think she didn't make right choices.
When they were here, Addison could fall and scratch her knee and she's say, "Oh, we need to
go to the hospital", that's the way it was with her"

When Paula heard that Addison had died, she says it was a very big shock. Scott said the police investigation and having to plan Addison's funeral, took a toll on them:

"Regardless of how it comes out, there has to be forgiveness. I think District Attorney Locke
Bell will do a find job. You don't get no sleep there for nine days while the investigation was
going on. A lot of people judge without knowing both sides"

I think that Scott and Paula are looking through rose colored glasses when it comes to their daughter. Shanna may have been a good mother at SOME point, but at the point she allowed a known child molester to live with her and Addison, she become a bad mother. The minute Shanna LIED to DSS after signing an agreement promising that she would NOT allow Jason to be around her daughter, she became a bad mother.

In an interview, while crying, Shanna had this to say:

"She was so beautiful. She was a great kid. She was so smart, unbelievably smart and
just full of laughter. She was a happy baby. She was so happy and she was a mama's
girl, I had her so spoiled.

But I know the good Lord has got you right now, but you should have lived your
life longer and mama misses you so much. I wish that you were sitting on my
lap, right now, hugging me and telling me love me. Cause you always, she would
hug me and she would pat my back and she would rub my face and say "mama,
I love you", I just want her back. I just want her back. (sobbing) I just want her
back. She should not be, she's two, she should have been able to live her life

At this point in the interview, Shanna is crying and says very softy as a woman comforts her, "I don't know if can do this". I am disgusted by what I have just seen. This woman moved in with a known child molester and then has the nerve to say her daughter should have lived longer? What did she expect? Did she expect that this man would NEVER touch her daughter? Shanna promised DSS that her daughter would not be around this man and she broke that promise, costing Addison her life, Shanna deserves ZERO sympathy, ZERO understanding and to spend the rest of her life in prison. There is no valid excuse for what she did and for what she allowed to happen to her daughter.

Shanna Dawn Lanham, who was 32 at the time and Jason both plead guilty to second degree murder wish Shanna receiving a sentence of nine to 11 1/2 years and Jason receiving ten to 13 years. Jason had also plead guilty to a charged of watching a child though he was a registered sex offender.


BESSEMBER City - Addison Grace Lanham, 2, passed away July 21, 2011, at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia.

She was born in Gaston County on June 9, 2009, daughter of Shanna Dawn Lanham.

She was a loving baby. She loved everyone she saw and her smile would brighten up a room when she walked in.

In addition to her mother, survivors include her grandparents, Scott and Paula Bridges, great-grandmother, Margaret
Pressley; uncle Ben Bridges, aunts, Aleta and Breann Bridges.

Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. on Friday at Greene Funeral Service - South Chapel in Gastonia.

A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Ragan Wesleyan Church in Gastonia officiate by the Rev. Don Jewell.

Internment will be in Westview Gardens in Bessemer City.

Condolences may be sent to www.greenefuneral.com

Arrangements are with Greene Funeral Service.

Return To Addison's Story
Saying Good bye To Addison
Read the call to 911

This page was created on August 26, 2013
Deaths occurred in the state of California

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