Shaniya Ja'el Crittle
February 3, 2003 - August 13, 2005

While doing research for a child named Shaniya Crittle, I was saddened when there were only three articles to learn about his precious Angel using both Google and Bing. I was able to learn that this little Angel was killed by her father and that she has an Aunt who is upset about what happened.

In August of 2005, Rayonous Burnette, who was 24 years old at the time, hit his daughter at least 20 times when he was taking care of her. Neighbors down the street said they heard the little girl screaming, I have to wonder, why didn't anyone call the police? Rayonous took her to a parade later and she collapsed. During the parade, Shaniya was lethargic and fell on her face inside of a portable toilet, even then, her father didn't take her to the hospital, he took her to his mother's home.

In Court, Assistant States Attorney Jane Sack, told Judge Matthew Coghlan that Rayonous admitted in a taped interview that he had hit his child and he may have hit her too hard. Rayonous was charged with first degree murder and held on $600,000. bond. Shaniya's Aunt said that is not enough:

"This was the death of a 2 year old baby. This baby was brutally murdered.
My niece's life is worth more than $600,000."
Evalena Gaiter

In order to get out, Rayonous would only need to have 10 percent of the bail, which would be $60,000. In court, Jane
Sack told the Judge that Rayonous worked as a baggage handler at the airport and had been taking care of his daughter since August 9 through that Saturday and that he had spanked her during that time either with his hand or a ruler. Rayonous was living in the home with his girlfriend and her two children, neither of them had been hurt. Shaniya had severe injuries to her abdomen.

After her funeral, Shaniya's Aunt said that anyone who watched what happened to Shaniya, should be accountable for what happened to her:

"They watched that baby suffer. It really makes me feel angry"

I am unable to find anything further in this case. I searched for the father, the Aunt and Shaniya.


I have been informed that Rayonous was sentenced to 26 years in prison with an estimated parole date of 2031.

UPDATE: December 22, 2014 (Thank you Cat for this update as well as providing birth and death deaths)

SR0421 - LRB094 13879 CSA 48909 r


WHEREAS, The members of the Senate of the State of Illinois learned with deep sadness of the untimely death of Shaniya Ja'el Crittle on Saturday, August 13, 2005; and WHEREAS, Shaniya was born on February 3, 2003 to LaCresha and Rayonous; she was known affectionately as Pepto, Suga Duga, Poopie, and Mellow Yellow; and WHEREAS, Even at a young and tender age, Shaniya said her prayers each day and grace before she ate; she had a magnetic personality, a smile that would light up any room, and a laugh that would mend any broken heart; and WHEREAS, She attended Lilly's Learning Center, where she was loved dearly; she was no ordinary child; her intelligence was beyond that of the average two-year-old; she loved to sing, dance, go to church, and play with her Dora doll; her favorite movie was "Shrek", and she loved to sit on her mother's lap while she read to her; andWHEREAS, The passing of Shaniya Ja'el Crittle has been deeply felt by those close to her, especially her mother, LaCresha; her father, Rayonous; her siblings, Treyonous, Shamiya, Antoiniya, and Jayden; her grandparents, Alice and Samuel Crittle and Sharon and Joseph Wilson; her aunt, Evalena (Maurice); her uncles, Markell and Cortez; her special cousins, Thristian and Dimitri; her godparents, Sonja (Boobie) and Calvin; her second family, the Pouncys; and her other relatives and special friends; therefore, be itRESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of Shaniya Ja'el Crittle, who was taken from this world at much too young an age, and we extend our deepest sympathy to her family and all who knew and loved her; and be it furtherRESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to her family as an expression of our sincerest condolences during their time of bereavement.

This page was created on May 17, 2013
Death Occurred in the state of Illinois

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