Woman convicted in death of 5-year-old grandson

Posted at 2:30 PM, April 22, 2021 and last updated 2:12 PM, July 20, 2023

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A jury deliberated for less than an hour before convicting a West Virginia woman charged in the death of her 5-year-old grandson.

Michelle Lynn Boggs, 49, of Lost Creek wept at the verdict finding her guilty of knowingly allowing death of a child by parent, guardian or custodian by child abuse, The Exponent Telegram reported.

She is the second person convicted in the 2020 death of Keaton Michael Elliott Boggs. Her son-in-law, Peter James Wodzinski Jr., was convicted last month and her daughter, Chastity Wodzinski, who is married to Peter, remains jailed pending trial. Keaton was the nephew of the Wodzinskis.

Police were called when the boy was taken to a hospital in Morgantown suffering from head trauma, numerous bruises and a laceration on his genital region.

Assistant Prosecutor Gina Snuffer insisted that Boggs, who became the boy’s legal guardian in 2019, knew the boy was being abused. She cited text messages, statements and photos.

“She knew what was happening and she allowed it by doing nothing to stop it,” Snuffer said.

Boggs’ attorney, Dreama Sinkkanen, said her client wasn’t aware of the abuse. She said Keaton lived with the Wodzinskis, but she stayed mostly with friends. She didn’t bathe the boy and he wore long-sleeve shirts, pants and socks when they visited, Sinkkanen said.

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