A Dallas man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stomping and killing the unborn child of his girlfriend’s teen cousin, who was raped and impregnated by her older brother, by placing it in a charcoal grill and then throwing the child away in a plastic bag, according to news reports emerging from Dallas on Wednesday morning.
The sentencing of Lonnell McDonald, 28, in the death of his girlfriend’s teen cousin’s baby provides some closure to the horrific case, where family members of the victim allegedly colluded with McDonald to kill the child in the most grisly manner possible.
The victim, who has not been named because she was 14-years-old at the time, was raped by her 23-year-old brother, Robert Cayald, in 2012. The victim testified that she was a virgin at the time Cayald raped her, and subsequently found herself pregnant with her brother’s child.
Instead of confronting Cayald with the hideousness of his actions, the victim’s family members, including cousins Cecila McDonald, 27, Cedric Jones Jr., 28, and Sharon Jones, 46, decided to kill the victim’s unborn child and roped in Lonnell McDonald to do the same. The reason for doing so, according to the court documents made available to Dallas Morning News, was that Cecila’s three young children were also repeatedly sexually abused by Cayald, and Cecila feared that Child Protective Services (CPS) would take them away if she informed authorities about the victim’s rape and pregnancy.
So Cecila and the teen’s then 12-year-old sister held her down on the living room floor of Sharon Jones’ house while Lonnell McDonald and Cedric Jones Jr. jumped and stomped on her, according to the victim’s testimony in court.
“It was like every time I woke up, they were still there,” the girl told the jury.
The victim’s sister, who was 12 at the time of the incident, also testified in court in exchange for immunity — she would have been tried in juvenile court had prosecutors charged her with the crime. According to her, the victim was taken to Cecila McDonald’s nearby apartment after the attack, where she gave birth to a stillborn baby in the bathroom. A doctor familiar with the case and who testified in court last week confirmed that the victim could have died because of losing a lot of blood and the manner of the attack that led to the miscarriage.
The young girl was never taken to a hospital, and instead, the Dallas man and his girlfriend gave her iron pills because she appeared “pale” after the gruesome attack.
Before she could see the child, the baby was placed in a five-gallon bucket. Later, Lonnell McDonald put the baby in a charcoal grill in an attempt to completely destroy it, reports Chron. Court documents showed that Sharon Jones paid Cedric Jones Jr. $25 to “take care of the rest of it.”
Cedric Jones Jr. then allegedly put the remains of the dead child in a plastic bag and stashed it in a location still unknown to the authorities, the prosecutors said in court.
While it is clear that several members of the victim’s family were responsible for the appalling acts, only Lonnell McDonald was charged with aggravated assault and was subsequently tried by the authorities. He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison but faced up to 99 years in prison.
Now, however, all three family members responsible for killing the child, along with the Dallas man, have been charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder. The trial for that case is still awaited.
The victim, who is now 17, presently lives with her sister and a foster family in Denton. She refused to comment on whether the sentencing of Lonnell McDonald provided closure to the frightening events that took place three years ago.
[Featured Image by Dallas County Jail]