A Mississauga man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his 88-year-old mother because she refused to change her will to his benefit.

Anthony Biunno, who represented himself in court, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Sept. 28, the day before his trial was set to begin, admitting to killing his mother, Mariantonia Biunno, by striking her on the head with a baseball bat on Sept. 3, 2019.

“This was a horrific and senseless crime, perpetrated on a defenceless, helpless woman in her home,” Brampton Superior Court Justice M.J. Lucille Shaw said, sentencing Biunno to a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 11 years.

“The accused wanted his mother to change her will, and his mother refused, insisting that each of the siblings should receive their fair share,” said Crown attorney Tyler Powell, reading from an agreed statement of facts filed during Biunno’s guilty plea and sentencing.

Mariantonia Biunno lived at a Mississauga address with two of her other adult children.

The court heard how in the years preceding the murder, the mother had asked Anthony Biunno, 52 at the time of his arrest, to leave her home. At the time of the killing, he was living at an address on Lakeshore Road in Mississauga.

In her victim impact statement, Michelle Biunno spoke of how her mother’s murder “has had a profound effect” and caused “tremendous stress and sadness.”

In court, Anthony Biunno said his sentence was suitable, given “the gravity of the offence and how it has affected my sister.”

He said the killing was a “spontaneous act” and “the result of many things boiling over in that moment.”

Two days before the murder, Michelle Biunno pleaded with her brother to avoid his mother’s Shelby Court home, but he still showed up with a plan to do laundry.

Powell said Anthony confronted his sister, telling her to convince their mother to substitute her for him in her will.

“When Michelle told him that their mother would never do that, this angered him,” Powell said, reading from the agreed facts.

The accused later showed up at the home while his sister was upstairs and his brother, Ken, was in the kitchen.

“The accused then approached his mother, who was lying on the couch in the room with a baseball bat and struck her three times in the head,” Powell read. “Both Ken and Michelle heard their mother scream and loud banging or crashing sounds.”

When both siblings went to their mother’s aid they found Anthony standing with a bat in the hallway.

“He looked like a madman. It was petrifying to witness, it really was,” the prosecutor said, reading Ken Biunno’s account.

Anthony Biunno then drove to Peel Police 12 Division at around 6:13 p.m., where he told officers: “I just killed my mom. She’s at home dead on the couch.”

Biunno, who has a criminal record including for assault, told the court that he suffers from substance abuse issues and apparent mental health issues.

Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. Reach him on email: or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic