The Milam County Grand Jury indicted Shawn Vincent Boniello, also known as Shayla Angelina Boniello on a Capital Murder charge Thursday morning.
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if Boniello is found guilty.
Boniello is accused of killing 20-month-old Patricia Ann Rader on Dec. 3, in a Rockdale house.
“We are very pleased with the decision of the Grand Jury and of the DA to seek the death penalty,” Rader’s family said in a statement on Thursday. “The DA’s Office is working around the clock on this case to ensure that nothing can be overturned on appeal.”
FOX44 News spoke to the child’s family days after police arrested Boniello.
“She just had the cutest personality. She was just the sweetest thing,” Bond said. “It has been the hardest thing. It was been the hardest thing in the world. You just can’t even imagine.”
Rader’s family say the little girl was allegedly beaten while under Boniello’s care in Rockdale around 5:45 p.m. Monday night. Boniello now being charged with capital murder.
Bond heard the news from her brother while she was out of town.
“I finally was able to hear [my brother] clearer, that Annie had died and I just collapsed to the floor. I mean, it was just a nightmare,” Bond said.
District Judge John W. Youngblood has asked the Texas Capital Defender’s Service in Austin to represent Boniello.
The family started an online fundraising page to cover funeral expenses. As of Monday, they closed the page after outpour from the community.