Seneca Falls Toddler Dies, Mother and Stepfather Charged With Murder

A three-year-old child who was allegedly beaten so severely by his parents that he was left on life support has died at a Syracuse hospital, and authorities in Seneca Falls have upgraded assault charges filed against his parents to murder.

Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch says a grand jury delivered a 12i-count indictment today, starting with three charges of second-degree murder. Charges also include manslaughter, reckless assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Seneca Falls Police Chief Stuart Peenstra says Alison and Donald Bovio both beat toddler Peter Stephanides Vaccino with a belt, causing him to fall and strike his head on the floor.

His stepfather, Donald Bovio, claimed the child had fallen down a flight of stairs. But Chief Peenstra says doctors at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse found otherwise. He says they’ll be able to prove the child was a victim of long-term beatings and abuse from the pattern of injuries he suffered.

Police say the boy's father was with him in Syracuse when he died. They say they're still investigating and interviewing people about this case.


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