As if a murdered five-year-old isn’t bad enough, some horrific new information has emerged in the case of West Virginia boy Keaton Boggs, whose paternal grandmother, aunt, and uncle are behind bars in connection with his March death.
Keaton had lived with his extended family since his father’s death in June of 2019. It is speculated that his grandmother, 48-year-old Michelle Boggs, her 29-year-old daughter, Chasity Wodzinski, and Chasity’s husband, 32-year-old Peter “P.J.” Wodzinski, took Keaton into their home in Lost Creek, West Virginia for financial reasons rather than familial. All three are charged with death of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian or other person.
The new details came to light during a hearing on April 9 in which Michelle’s attorney, Dreama Sinkkanen, requested bail between $20,000 and $50,000 for Michelle, expressing concerns about Michelle’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, her use of oxygen full-time, her peripheral artery disease, a heart attack she had in February that required surgery and the placement of three stents, and other specified medical conditions, all of which Ms. Sinkkanen claimed left Michelle at a high risk of contracting COVID-19.
Ms. Sinkkanen told the judge, “Her interest at this point is being somewhere she is physically safe and not exposed to the virus more than absolutely necessary given her health conditions.”
(I guess she didn’t see the hypocrisy there, huh? I bet little Keaton was pretty damn interested in being somewhere he was physically safe, too, but he certainly didn’t get his way.)
Harrison Assistant Prosecutor Gina Snuffer was opposed to Michelle being granted bail and provided the judge with additional details about Keaton’s abuse.
Keaton arrived at United Hospital Center on March 18, suffering from severe injuries his grandmother and aunt, who drove him there after finding him unconscious instead of calling an ambulance, tried to explain away as accidental.
Keaton was intubated and resuscitated before being airlifted to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, where doctors determined that he had suffered a “catastrophic brain injury,” which had caused irreversible brain damage that could not be repaired by surgery. They realized almost immediately that Keaton’s injuries would be fatal.
The various stories told by Michelle and Chasity ranged from Keaton causing his own injuries to falling over a dog to falling down the stairs, and they even said at one point that he was completely fine when he went to sleep, but he wouldn’t wake up. Medical staff and social workers saw through their bullshit. Child Protective Services was called in, placing the little guy in state custody.
He suffered from a multitude injuries, both old and new, including bleeding on the brain, ear injuries, and bruising to his head, the right side of his face, his neck, and his collarbone. He also had a 1.5 inch laceration to his penile shaft, as well as injuries to his testicles and his inner thigh. According to Ms. Snuffer, when Michelle was asked by medical staff at Ruby about the genital injuries, she told them Keaton was constantly touching himself, and “she told him she would cut it off if he didn’t stop playing with it.”
What the fuck. I actually lost my ability to speak for a while when I first read that. My heart is shattered for this poor little guy.
Keaton died in the hospital on March 20.
An official from the jail where Boggs currently resides said she is isolated in a room in the medical department, receiving daily medical treatment and review from nurses, and is seen once weekly by doctors.
Because some of Keaton’s injuries were older than others, Harrison County Circuit Judge James A. Matish asked Ms. Sinkkanen about the timing and duration of Michelle’s hospital stay after her heart attack and subsequent surgery, “thinking out loud” about whether some of the boy’s injuries could have occurred while Michelle was in the hospital.
Ms. Sinkkanen’s response was, “Your Honor, Ms. Boggs indicated that is entirely possible.”
Judge Matish told the attorney he would “leave the door open for you to get me some more [medical] information so I can reconsider it,” but he ultimately denied the bail request, saying, “I don’t really have a whole bunch of information I can go on at this time with respect to her medical condition. I’m not made aware of any cases of COVID-19 virus being found in North Central Jail.”
He continued, “It does sound like she’s being taken care of by the medical facility that is there at this time. I know that I would not set a bond in the amount of $50,000 in this matter, given the facts and circumstance of this case as they’ve been presented to the court at this time.”
“The court’s aware that her physical condition may very well put her at increased risk, but there are a lot of people that are at increased risk from contracting the virus at this time; I don’t know that anyone’s safe from it,” the judge said.
Judge Matish ordered jail officials to transport Michelle to a follow-up appointment in May with her heart doctor if bail has not been granted and posted at that time.
Chasity Wodzinski has also been denied bail by Judge Chris McCarthy. She maintains her innocence. Her husband, P.J., and his attorney, Jason Glass, have not yet sought bond.
Sources: WV News, The Sun