Saundra Simonée was on the floor with her head bashed in with a hammer wielded by her daughter’s boyfriend. That afternoon, her daughter Shatura, 29, had a number of concerns which she shared with the jury during her boyfriend’s murder trial this week.
She wanted to make sure her children didn’t see their grandmother lying dead all day on the living room floor and she was hoping beyond hope that her boyfriend – the murderer- would get her a racing game for the PlayStation 3 he bought with her mother’s money. Her other concern was whether she should get her nails done.
Shatura testified for the prosecution at the first-degree murder trial of her boyfriend Antonio Christian, 28, of Roosevelt, a crime-plagued area.
She watched as her boyfriend punched her mother in the face, tortured her until she gave up her bank card PIN and finally beat her skull in with a hammer. Christian was at the Simonée home in violation of an order of protection meant to keep him away from the couple’s young children, now 7 and 4. When the murder victim demanded he leave, he punched her in the jaw.
Then he got greedy and demanded her bank pin number. Every time she refused to give it up, Christian stabbed her in the side with a knife.
When he threatened the grandchildren, Mrs. Simonée gave up the pin. Shatura went to the bank and took out cash.
The victim was sitting on her floor holding a bag of frozen peas on her jaw, pleading with Christian to let her go to the hospital. That’s when he hit her with a hammer.
“He hits her, and she moans,” a prosecuting attorney said. “He hits her over and over and over again, until Saundra moans no more.”
They went to bed with the grandmother lying dead on the floor. The daughter took more money out of the bank the next day.
She told the prosecutor that she texted Antonio the day after the murder asking if she should get fake nails or have a manicure.
The prosecutor Steven Wilutis grilled her. “Because when you killed your mother, you broke one of your nails, right ma’am?”
No, of course not. She broke her nail scrubbing her mother’s congealed blood off the living room floor while Christian dumped the body in Bay Shore. However, she said she did that hours after the pedicure texting with Christian.
She agreed that she didn’t shed any tears or show any emotion the day her mother’s skull was repeatedly bashed with the hammer as she testified with a flat affect. She said that when her mother’s body was found, she “didn’t react.”
Her story changed multiple times by her own admission. She was charged with hindering the prosecution and pled guilty to criminal facilitation in her mother’s murder. She faces 6 to 18 years in prison.
Christian faces life without parole.
Shatura, for her part, still loves Christian and sends him letters and Christmas cards. The two hope to raise the grandchildren together one day.
God help us and those children.