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Sentencing postponed for woman in death of son

Diagnostic evaluation and presentencing report requested for Monica Boggs

Diagnostic evaluation and presentencing report requested for Monica Boggs

November 03, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The sentencing of a 20-year-old Berkeley County woman convicted of three felonies in the abuse, neglect and death of her 7-month-old son in August 2008 was postponed Monday to allow for a diagnostic evaluation and the completion of a presentencing report.

Monica W. Boggs, 20, of 8791 Hedgesville Road, was found guilty Sept. 3 of death of a child by a parent, custodian or guardian or other person by child abuse; child abuse causing bodily injury; and gross child neglect creating substantial risk of bodily injury.

The jury needed less than an hour to reach its verdict.

Boggs could receive 10 to 40 years in prison for causing the death of Skylar Boggs and one- to five-year sentences for the other two counts. Circuit Judge Gray Silver III will decide the number of years and whether Boggs should serve the terms of imprisonment consecutively or concurrently, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely.

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On Monday, Games-Neely did not oppose defense attorney B. Craig Manford's motion for the evaluation, which he said in a motion he filed last week was allowed by state law.

A presentencing report that needed to be completed for Boggs "got lost in the communication channels," and was inadvertently not assigned to a probation officer after her trial ended, Games-Neely said in an interview after the hearing. The report is expected to be completed by Dec. 21 and Boggs' diagnostic evaluation is expected to be completed at the Anthony Correctional Center in Greenbrier County, W.Va.

Boggs, who is seven months pregnant, told police she threw Skylar into his crib on Aug. 18, 2008. Skylar's skull was fractured when the boy's head struck a hard plastic toy piano that was in the crib and he died the next day, according to court records and trial testimony.

She also threw a baby bottle at the child, causing a black eye, according to police accounts.

Manford said in his motion requesting an evaluation that he recently learned from relatives that Boggs might have been the victim of child abuse.

Manford also indicated he had concerns "regarding the defendant's current state of mind and competency," which he said could be addressed by the evaluation.

Games-Neely said the outcome of the evaluation would not change her position in arguing for a substantial prison term.

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