Milam County resident facing capital murder charge in death of 20-month-old

Shawn Vincent Boniello. (Jail photo)
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ROCKDALE, Tex. (KBTX) - A Rockdale woman is facing murder charges after a 20-month-old child was killed.

Shawn Vincent Boniello, 30, is charged with capital murder and endangering a child. Boniello is a transgender woman and commonly uses the name Shayla Angeline Boniello.

The child, Patricia Ann Rader, died December 3 at a home in Rockdale. Officers, firefighters and paramedics responded to the residence at around 5:45 p.m. after receiving a report of an unresponsive child. Paramedics performed CPR at the scene, but were unable to revive the girl.

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

In a release Monday, the Milam County District Attorney said they are still waiting on all the evidence to be presented before they decide on what punishment to seek. Officials said that cost is not a determining factor for whether the office will seek the death penalty. After all of the evidence is gathered, District Attorney Bill Torrey says he will will meet with Rader's family to discuss what options are available for trial. Only after that meeting, the office said, will they know if they are seeking the death penalty.

Editor's note: Using guidance from the Associated Press and National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, KBTX refers to transgendered people by their chosen pronoun. Law enforcement confirmed to KBTX that Ms. Boniello is transgender and goes by Shayla, but has not legally changed her name.