Affidavit details sexual abuse of infants in Blanco child abuse case

1-year-old girl dies after being taken off life support

BLANCO, Texas – Two of three children age 3 and younger allegedly abused by a couple in Blanco showed signs of sexual assault, according to arrest warrant affidavits.

The children's mother, Jamie Patronella, and her boyfriend, John Lawrence, were arrested Tuesday after calling 911 because Patronella's 14-month-old daughter was unresponsive.

The girl, Sunny Dakota Slade-Bort, died Thursday at University Hospital after her father requested to have her taken off life support.

The two other children, a 2-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, also showed signs of abuse. Affidavits said the 2-year-old girl was also sexually assaulted. Affidavits also said the boy suffered a broken arm a few days before paramedics responded to the home.

Because it's alleged Patronella and Lawrence did not seek medical treatment for the children before Tuesday, the pair have been charged with injury to a child by omission, as well as not preventing the injuries and sexual assault.

The affidavit said Sunny suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. It said Patronella claimed her 2-year-old daughter struck Sunny with a plastic chair, knocking her into a table.

Child Protective Services said it was previously involved with the family. The agency is pursuing emergency custody of the two surviving children.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the case. Charges could be upgraded to capital murder once the investigation is complete.