Jury convicts man in child abuse death of 5-year-old Harrison County boy

Crime

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – It took the jury a little more than a half hour to convict Peter Wodzinski in the death of five-year-old Keaton Boggs in Harrison County.

Peter Wodzinski

The jury found Wodzinski guilty of death of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian by knowingly allowing child abuse by another person.

The defense has 10 days to submit any motions.

There is no date set for Wodzinski to be sentenced.

The prosecution called its final witnesses on Wednesday. A pediatrician who treated Keaton once as an infant said he saw him for the last time in January 2020.

The doctor testified that there were many canceled appointments involving Keaton: an appointment Sept. 6, 2019 was canceled; an appointment Sept. 13, 2019 was a no show; an appointment Oct. 17, 2019 was a no show; and an appointment Jan. 3, 2020 was canceled. Then, on Jan. 29, Chasity Wodzinski and Michelle Boggs took Keaton in to be checked.

The doctor stated that he observed markings on Keaton’s body, including bruises on his left eye; scratches on his face that the pair said came from a dog and from falling into a chicken wire fence; and bruises they said came from a toy hammer. The doctor testified that he did not call Child Protective Services because he believed them. He also said Chasity Wodzinski’s child was able to make an appointment on Jan. 3, even though Keaton’s appointment was canceled.

In cross examination, the defense asked the doctor who Keaton’s legal guardian was, to which he replied Michelle Boggs. When asked, he explained that someone who is not the legal guardian would not be allowed to make appointments and seek medical attention for a child. He also said he had not gotten permission from Michelle Boggs to allow Chasity Wodzinski to make appointments for Keaton. However, when questioned again by the prosecution, the doctor affirmed that anyone can take a child to an emergency room with an injury.

A West Virginia State Police trooper testified about being contacted for suspected child abuse. He said he went to Ruby Memorial Hospital, met with CPS and the doctors and viewed the child. Then, he met with Michelle Boggs and Chasity Wodzinski. The trooper testified that Keaton was the worst case he has ever seen in terms of the amount of injuries on a child.

The trooper stated that the story he was given was that Peter Wodzinski was home on March 18, 2020, and Michelle Boggs and Chasity Wodzinski had left at about 8 am. When they came back at about 2:30 or 3 pm, they found Keaton unresponsive.

In closing arguments, the defense argued that the prosecution had not proven that Peter Wodzinski was the abuser in the case. However, the jury convicted him a short time later.

Peter Wodzinski was the first of three people to stand trial in the case, with Chasity Wodzinski scheduled to be tried beginning March 29 and Michelle Boggs set to be tried beginning April 19.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Link to 12 things you need to know page

WBOY 12 News Facebook Page

Trending Stories