(UPDATE: March 24, 2022, 12:52 p.m.)
It took one hour and 25 minutes for a jury to reach the verdict of Chasity Wodzinski.
Wodzinski has been found guilty of knowingly allowing child abuse which resulted in the death of five-year-old Keaton Boggs.
Judge James A. Matish expected sentencing to be in May but had several concerns with the trial.
The judgment of acquittal from the defense’s motions on Wednesday was not ruled on, but could still be approved or denied before sentencing. He postponed the motion indefinitely.
The judge also ordered a pre-sentencing diagnosis, among other things.
She will now face 15 years to life in prison.
(ORIGINAL: March 24, 2022, 12:30 p.m.)
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – After a full day of jury selection on Monday and two-and-a-half days of argument spanning Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, a jury is now deliberating the verdict for Chasity Wodzinski.
Wodzinski is accused of child abuse resulting in the death of five-year-old Keaton Boggs, her biological nephew. Her husband, Peter Wodzinski, was found guilty in March 2021 to knowingly allowing the child abuse resulting in death to occur, and Michelle Boggs, Chasity Wodzinski’s mom, also was found guilty of the same charge in April 2021.
If Chasity Wodzinski is found guilty, she will face 15 years to life in prison.
At the start of the day on Thursday, evidence from the prosecution involving two large binders with medical records needed to have information redacted. Since the redaction would delay the trial, both the prosecution and defense agreed to withdraw the evidence.
After the jury was brought into the courtroom, closing arguments were given from each side.
The prosecution argued that it was clear from medical testimony that the injuries to Keaton were not accidental, and that Chasity Wodzinski had to know about the abuse since she was a legal custodian and lived with Keaton full time.
According to testimony, Keaton also didn’t make several doctor’s appointments, either because he didn’t show up, or it was canceled.
“Who allows someone to hurt, cut, or burn a child? The same person who doesn’t take him to doctor’s appointments,” said Gina Renzelli, Assistant Prosecutor for Harrison County.
The prosecution also brought up the two conflicting stories that Chasity Wodzinski gave to the West Virginia State Police of whether she was home and saw the incident, or was not home and did not see the incident.
“This isn’t something you get confused about if you saw it…unless it was made up,” said Renzelli.
Renzelli also said that during an interview with the West Virginia State Police, Chasity Wodzinski wanted “justice for Keaton”, but also said to officers that all of his injuries were from the family dog or self-inflicted.
Renzelli also cited Dr. Casey McCluskey, who cared for Keaton during his stay at WVU Medicine Children’s in Morgantown. During Dr. McCluskey’s testimony, she said that she started documenting Keaton’s injuries with pictures because she was sure it was from child abuse, and she was not sure he would survive.
Renzelli finished her argument, saying after Jan. 29, 2020, when the third-party authorization form was filled out at Dr. Policano’s office, Chasity Wodzinski could have easily taken him to the hospital, the doctor or even called police but chose not to.
The defense opened their closing arguments by asking the jury if the prosecution had answered two questions: did Chasity Wodzinski inflict the fatal abuse? and did Chasity Wodzinski knowingly allow the fatal abuse to occur?
The defense claimed that the prosecution only focused on previous abuse, and that no proof was brought upon the jury to know where Chasity Wodzinski was that day. According to her first interview with police on March 18, 2020, while at WVU Medicine Ruby Memorial Hospital, she was running errands, while Michelle Boggs and Peter Wodzinski were home with Keaton.
The next day, March 19, 2020, she went back to the West Virginia State Police Bridgeport detachment and said that Boggs was actually with her.
The defense also brought up that only one law enforcement officer, Michael Camden, testified in the case.
According to the first interview with police, Chasity Wodzinski drove Keaton to WVU Medicine United Hospital Center on March 18, 2020, after Keaton was found unresponsive. The defense said that if Chasity Wodzinski really inflicted the abuse or knowingly allowed the abuse to occur, she had an option to do nothing instead of taking him to the hospital. She also drove home to get Peter Wodzinski and bring him to the West Virginia State Police Bridgeport detachment after giving her statement so that he could give his own.
The defense also brought up that Dr. McCluskey, and Dr. Donald Pojman, the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Keaton, did not know who did the abuse, or the mechanism of death in the case.
“Sometimes, the absence of evidence is more compelling,” said James Hawkins Jr., one of the defense attorneys for Chasity Wodzinski.
The defense also mentioned that Chasity Wodzinski was cooperative with police the entire time, and ended their argument.
In the final words from the prosecution, Renzelli said that the prior knowledge of child abuse from the bruises in multiple stages of healing and the scar tissue found on his penis shows that Chasity Wodzinski knew about the abuse, and decided to do nothing.
The jury went back for deliberations at 11:00 a.m.
This story will be updated following a verdict from the jury. Sign up for 12 News breaking news email alerts.