The father of an 8-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder for killing the boy in anger when he thought he was putting on his shoes too slowly, according to prosecutors.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said that Robert Bonnard slammed his son’s head against a wall and floor until the boy was unconscious on Aug. 27, 2012. The beating occurred in front of Bonnard’s 9-year-old daughter at the family’s Arden Arcade home.
Eshawn Bonnard’s brain was swollen enough that it ruptured into his spinal cavity, according to a Sacramento County sheriff’s detective report. Eshawn, a Dyer-Kelly Elementary School third-grader, died nine days after the incident.
Bonnard initially claimed the boy had suffered a seizure, but doctors and detectives determined quickly that he had been a victim of blunt force trauma.
Bonnard, now 33, could be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years to life in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing in Sacramento Superior Court on Aug. 14.