Blanco Co. mom sentenced to 30 years in prison for baby's death

Jamie Petronella, 24, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to injury to a child in connection to the May 2016 death of her 15-month-old daughter, Sunny Bort. 

In Feb., Petronella's boyfriend, John Cody Lawrence, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in connection to the murder. He pleaded guilty to capital murder of a child under 10 years of age and four counts of assault on a public servant. The assault charges resulted from Lawrence attacking officers in the Blanco County Jail on the day that Sunny died. 

On May 2, 2016, Petronella and Lawrence called 911 after Sunny stopped breathing. Blanco police said that when they arrived, they found Sunny laying in the middle of the living room floor with Lawrence attempting to perform CPR on her. According to an arrest affidavit, police said bruises were on both sides of the girl's mouth along with a large dried wound on her face.

Police said in the affidavit that Lawrence told Blanco Police Chief Mike Ritchey at the scene that a large bruise on the Sunny’s forehead was caused by him trying to “rub” it away in order to diminish the effects of the bruise.

Sunny was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio. According to the arrest affidavit, her treating physician said her injuries were due to a cerebral hemorrhage, indicating trauma to the head.

In addition, the physician told law enforcement that she had a spinal injury in the c5-c6 area and bruising to the face with contusions on the temple and a fracture of one arm. Police also noted in the affidavit that there were injuries consistent with sexual assault on both Sunny and a sibling. Sunny died at University Hospital on May 5, 2016.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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