John Lawrence, 24, last known address of 525 Jones Ave. in Blanco, TX, was sentenced to Life in Prison without the possibility of parole for the offense of Capital Murder of a Child under 10 years of age. Lawrence entered a plea of guilty on Friday, February 3, 2017, in the 33rd District Court, Judge Allan Garrett presiding for the May 3, 2016 death of 15 month old Sunny Bort. Lawrence also pled guilty to four counts of assault on a public servant.
On May 3, 2016, Blanco police officers responded to a Blanco apartment after a mother reported her child was not breathing. Officers found Sunny Bort unresponsive on the living room floor. The child was transported to University Medical Center in San Antonio, where she later died.
Emergency responders noticed bruising and other injuries on the child. The child’s mother, Jamie Petronella, blamed the injuries on the actions of another child in the apartment. The Blanco Police Department and the 33rd & 424th Judicial District Attorney’s Office immediately called the Texas Rangers to assist in the investigation.
After an extensive investigation by law enforcement, Lawrence was indicted for the offense of Capital Murder of a Child younger than 10 years of age and Assault on Public Servant for an incident that occurred shortly after Lawrence’s arrest.
33rd & 424th Judicial District Attorney Wiley B. “Sonny” McAfee stated that “this was a horrific crime, it is one of the worst that I have ever seen.” “He agreed to life without the possibility of parole. He also waived his rights to an appeal, so he will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
“This was a very difficult case from the start“ McAfee said, “but it was a great team effort involving my office, the Blanco Police Department, the Blanco County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Rangers.”
Jamie Petronella faces multiple counts of Injury to a Child that are pending in Blanco County, Texas.