Sacto 9-1-1
September 6, 2012
8-year-old Sacramento County boy dies; father in custody on child abuse charges

An 8-year-old boy died Wednesday after he suffered brain damage after his father beat him with a vacuum attachment, according to authorities and court documents.

Eshawn Bonnard died at the UC Davis Medical Center, where he had been since he was admitted Aug. 27, said Sacramento County sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos.

Bonnard Image.jpgThe boy's father, 31-year-old Robert Bonnard (pictured at left), was arrested the next day and remains in custody, charged with two counts of child abuse and two counts of corporal injury on a child, all felonies.

Ramos said authorities are deciding what additional charges Bonnard faces in light of his son's death.

Ramos said Eshawn's injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma and that detectives suspect the injuries were inflicted by his father. He declined to say where the abuse occurred, except that the boy was in his father's custody at the time.

The criminal complaint filed Aug. 29 against the elder Bonnard indicates Eshawn, a third-grader at Dyer-Kelly Elementary School, was abused in two incidents, both with a plastic vacuum attachment. The boy suffered brain damage as a result, and fell into a coma, according to the complaint.

Ramos said hospital employees called deputies Aug. 27 to say they were treating a child with "serious internal injuries" that were inconsistent with having a seizure, which is what paramedics had been told when they were called to the child's home.

"In other words, you don't get those kind of injuries from having a seizure," Ramos said.

Deputies began an investigation and identified the boy's father as a suspect. He was arrested Aug. 28 and prosecutors filed charges the next day.

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