Prosecutors: No decision on death penalty in murder of 20-month-old

Shawn Vincent Boniello. (Jail photo)
By  | 

CAMERON, Texas (KWTX) No decision has yet been made on whether to seek the death penalty against a man charged with capital murder in the death of a 20-month-old Rockdale girl, the Milam County and District Attorney’s Office said in a press release Monday.

Shawn Vincent Boniello, who’s also known as Shayla Angeline Boniello, is held in the Milam County Jail charged with capital murder in the death of Patricia Ann Rader, who died on the evening of Dec. 3 at her home in Rockdale.

“The investigation into this horrible tragedy is still on-going, and our office has yet to see a report or any of the evidence against the defendant,” prosecutors said in the press release.

“At the time of this press release, our office has received two probable cause affidavits, capital murder and endangering a child - nothing else. As such, no decision has been made on what punishment our office will seek at trial,” the press release said.

“Cost is not a determining factor for this office whether to proceed with a death penalty trial. Once our office has received the final reports and evidence from Rockdale Police Department, (District Attorney Bill Torrey) will review the complete case. After review, and only after the review, DA Torrey will meet with the family of Patrician Ann Rader, to discuss the case and what options we will have for the trial. Only after that meeting will our office know if we are seeking the death penalty for this heinous act,” the office said.

Officers, firefighters and paramedics responded to the girl’s home at around 5:45 p.m. Dec. 3 after receiving a report of an unresponsive child.

Paramedics performed CPR at the scene, but were unable to revive the girl.

Boniello was arrested that night and was initially charged with child abandonment/endangerment, but on Dec. 4 was also named in a complaint charging capital murder.