Man receives maximum prison sentence in shooting death of Aurora mother


Shaun Davis

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A man received a maximum sentence under the law for killing an Aurora mother and shooting her boyfriend so he could rob them, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Andrew Baum sentenced Shaun Davis, 33, to life in prison plus 166 years in the shooting death of 23-year-old Aliyah Bonicelli in April 2018.

Bonicelli was in a vehicle with her boyfriend and Davis when she was shot in the back of the head. She was survived by a young daughter. Davis also shot Bonicelli’s boyfriend in the face, but he survived after playing dead.

Davis had been out of prison six months after serving a sentence for aggravated robbery when the shooting happened.

“A multiple convicted felon with a gun who has twice before been paroled early from his well-deserved sentence once again proves that the grave risks to the community of paroling repeat, violent offenders are unjustifiable,” District Attorney George Brauchler said.

“Without question, had this monster served his full sentence for his past felonies, this innocent mother would still be alive. … Over a mere $3,000, this career criminal was willing to murder two people.

“He listened cold-heartedly to a mother plead for her life, then he assaulted her before putting a bullet in her head. No amount of time in prison is enough for such a monster.”

Davis was found guilty on May 24 of first-degree murder after deliberation, attempted first-degree murder after deliberation, aggravated robbery, first-degree assault and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Davis was found to be a habitual offender. He received the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. He was sentenced to another 166 years for the other counts.

Aliyah Bonicelli (Family photo)

The Aurora Police Department responded to University of Colorado Hospital on April 8, 2018, where Bonicelli and her boyfriend were being treated for gunshot wounds.

The boyfriend told police that he and Bonicelli were giving “Shaun” a ride in her vehicle when Davis pulled out a gun and shot the man in the face.

The boyfriend, who was in the front passenger seat, played dead, prosecutors said. Davis told Bonicelli to check her boyfriend for a pulse. She said he was dead.

The boyfriend told police that he heard Bonicelli tell Davis that she was a mother and she pleaded for her life.

Prosecutors said Davis pistol-whipped Bonicelli, then he shot her in the back of the head.

When Davis left, the boyfriend drove himself and Bonicelli to the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The boyfriend told officers that the more than $3,000 in cash he was carrying was missing. Davis was arrested three days later.

“This is one of the most brutal homicides I have seen,” Baum said during sentencing. “This is by far the most unnecessary homicide I have seen. There was no need for Ms. Bonicelli to lose her life.”

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