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Mother, stepfather charged with murder after Seneca Falls boy dies

Local News

Two parents are now charged with murder following the death of a boy in Seneca Falls who police say was beaten.

A grand jury has indicted Donald and Alison Bovio on charges of murder, manslaughter in the case.

Officers say three-year-old Panagiotis “Peter” Stephaides-Vacchino died Wednesday afternoon.

Police were called to the Bovio’s home on Saturday for a report of a child who had fallen down stairs. At the home, officers said the boy was not conscious and had to be rushed to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.

Investigators say doctors found that three-year-old Peter’s injuries were not consistent with a fall. They say the boy had suffered blows to his head and body. As a result, the boy was placed on life support.

Speaking Thursday, the district attorney said a belt was used to beat the child. According to investigators, the couple had just moved to Seneca Falls in recent months. Before that, officers say they had several run-ins with Child Protective Services in Massachusetts.

Police say Alison Bovio is the boy’s mother and Donald is the stepfather. We’re told Donald Bovio has a criminal record.

We’re told the boy’s biological father arrived at the hospital before the boy’s death and made the decision to take him off life support.

“Prior to the date of the initial call, based on the child’s injuries – the child had substantial injuries throughout his entire body that were consistent with abuse for quite some time.”

Total charges against Donald and Alison Bovio:

  • 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

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