A Texas judge has sentenced a 32-year-old transgender woman to life in prison for the 2018 murder of her boyfriend's 20-month-old granddaughter, reports out of the area confirm.
Shayla Boniello, formerly known as Shawn Boniello, pleaded guilty to capital murder on Thursday and soon after, learned she would spend the rest of her life behind bars, without the possibility of parole, according to KXXV, KWTX-TV, and the Bryan-College Station Eagle.
The plea comes as part of a deal offered by prosecutors, who had agreed not to pursue the death penalty against the Rockdale resident.
Boniello was arrested in December 2018, after telling police she punched, slapped, shook, and squeezed little Patricia Ann "Annie" Rader to the point of unconsciousness.
Tasked with babysitting the child, Boniello told police she ended up squeezing the baby until she felt her bones begin to pop.
The abuse went on for at least three minutes.
The Eagle reports that Boniello told investigators anger and frustration with the child drove her deadly actions.
According to KXXV, prosecutors had recently learned Boniello suffers from a traumatic brain injury, which would have made a death sentence impossible.
"Boniello's nonviolent past and traumatic brain injury would render any death verdict insufficient and thus be reversed on appeal," Milam County District Attorney Bill Torrey said in a statement to KWTX-TV.
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Annie was killed on Dec. 3, 2018, and Boniello was taken into custody that same evening.
Boniello met Annie's grandfather through an online dating website, and not long after that, she moved to Rockdale to live with him.
Annie's family is now intent on advocating for victims of child abuse.
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