It took a jury a mere 30 minutes on Thursday to convict a West Virginia woman in last year’s death of her 5-year-old grandson.
A Harrison County jury found Michelle Boggs, 49, guilty of allowing child abuse by a parent, guardian, or custodian that resulted in the death of Keaton Boggs. The grandmother took the stand and testified that she was not responsible for the boy’s fatal injuries due to her health issues and frequent absence from the home, according to West Virginia News.
Michelle Boggs also claimed she feared her son-in-law, Peter Wodzinski, 33, who was convicted of the same charge in early March after only 25 minutes of deliberations.
During Michelle Boggs’ trial, the court was shown photos of the unresponsive 5-year-old surrounded by tubes and wires. Forensic nurse Meredith Linger testified that the boy had 40 injuries, in different stages of healing, including bruising all over his body, two black eyes, and a 4cm laceration on his genitals.
West Virginia News reported that jurors also reviewed a CT scan that showed Keaton Boggs’ brain bleed.
Michelle Boggs’ daughter — Peter Wodzinski’s wife, Chasity Wodzinski, 30 — was granted an indefinite postponement of her trial in late March, after a breakdown in communications between her and her legal counsel.
Michelle Boggs and Chasity Wodzinski reportedly gained custody of Keaton Boggs following his father’s death in June 2019. Reports indicated that the boy’s mother lost custody of him due to drug addiction.
Keaton Boggs lived with his grandmother, uncle, and aunt for nine months before his death in March 2020. Prosecutors said four out of five doctor’s appointments were canceled in a nine-month span, presumably to hide the boy’s injuries.
Peter Wodzinski told police that the injuries to the 5-year-old’s scrotum were self-inflicted. Michelle Boggs and Chasity Wodzinski reportedly claimed the injuries were caused by a dog, a chicken wire fence, and a toy hammer. However, his death was found to be caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
Michelle Boggs’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for June. Peter Wodzinski is scheduled to be sentenced in mid-May.