SENECA FALLS (WSYR-TV) – After the alleged beating death of 3-year-old Panagiotis Stephanides-Vacchino, also known as Peter, Seneca County investigators are charging his mother and stepfather each with multiple counts of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter.
According to Massachusetts papers, Peter’s stepfather Donald Bovio, 38, has a long and violent criminal history and that he was released three months early from probation that was linked to a violent assault.
Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch says he’s confident in charging both Alison and Donald Bovio with the same crimes listed in a 12-count indictment.
“Being a mere bystander — you can’t be criminally liable for that,” Porsch told reporters at a presser on Thursday. “There had to be some type of participation in those crimes for her to be indicted.”
As for Donald Bovio’s past — his first offense happened when he was 14 years old. According to MassLive.com, Bovio spent much of his teen years in the Massachusetts juvenile court system racking up charges for possessing firearms and ammunition, malicious destruction of property, breaking and entering and robbery.
It’s also reported that between 1998 and 2014, Bovio was charged with several other crimes including assault, battery, domestic abuse and attempted murder.
Bovio’s most recent criminal offenses happened in Lynn, Mass., in 2014 when he strangled his then girlfriend and threatened to carve her skin with a knife, according to MassLive.com.
Reportedly, Bovio served jail time for multiple crimes, but at various times those charge were either reduced or dropped altogether.
MassLive.com reveals that Bovio wrote a letter to a Massachusetts judge pleading for his early release from probation. According to the newspaper’s report, Bovio wrote the following statement in the letter: “The reason being I am happily [sic] married with my new wife and new stepson that makes me very happy.”
The early probation was granted in early March and Bovio and his wife and stepson moved to Seneca Falls.
If convicted on the charges of 3-year-old Panagiotis Stephanides-Vacchino’s death, Donald and Alison Bovio are both facing a minimum sentence of 15 years to life and a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
The pair were charged with:
- 3 counts of second-degree murder
- 3 counts of first-degree manslaughter
- 1 count of second-degree manslaughter
- 1 count of reckless assault of a child
- 1 count of second-degree assault
- 1 count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon
- 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child