Suspect accused of killing toddler pleads guilty, gets life in prison

Local News

The Milam County District Attorney announced Thursday morning that Shawn Boniello, also known as Shayla Boniello, pleaded guilty to a Capital Murder charge and received a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

Boniello is accused of beating 20-month-old Patricia Ann Rader to death in December of 2018.

Rader’s family claimed Boniello had beaten Patricia other times while the toddler was under Boniello’s watch.

Thomas Bond, the uncle of Patricia Ann “Annie” Rader, says the grandfather was in a relationship with accused murderer Boniello. The grandfather also had temporary custody of Patricia Ann.

Bond called FOX44 News Thursday morning, saying District Attorney Bill Torrey had informed the family about the plea deal. Bond says the family is not happy about the decision because for more than a year, Torrey promised the family he would push for the death penalty.

“It was just like a slap in the face. Everytime we would talk to him we would basically ask him, we’re still going for the death penalty, right? We’re still going for the death sentence, right? It’s not going to change, right? And he said, ‘No, absolutely not.’” said Bond.

In a statement to FOX44, Torrey said he decided not to pursue the death penalty because Boniello suffered a brain injury and did not have a violent past. But the family said that was not a good enough reason and said:

“He[Torrey] promised that he would stay on course with this. I think he used it to get re-elected and shame on him,” Bond added.

Thomas Bond plans to work with lawmakers and crisis agencies to prevent similar incidents from happening to other families.

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