By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, www.artharris.com, all rights reserved
She’s behind bars on a half million dollar cash bond in Charleston, W. Va., a 25 year old mother allegedly high on pills and booze when police say she passed out atop her 3 month old baby last May 10, smothering her to death.
Leslie Boggs claimed she parked her daughter in a portable car seat, left the room to do some cleaning, then returned to find little Raynna not breathing. She blamed SIDs, a cause of death not inconsistent with the medical examiner’s preliminary autopsy. But that autopsy was recently revised after police found conflicts in Boggs’ story and enough evidence to charge Boggs with “child neglect causing death.”
“We’re not stuck on this charge,” Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants said Friday night when we were also a guest on HLN’s Nancy Grace Show, hinting it could get more serious.
Art Harris: exclusive information on Leslie Boggs baby death case
“In West Virginia, everyone has to be indicted by a grand jury,” says Plants. “So once I see the report and all the evidence is collected and reviewed, we’ll make an ultimate charging decision.”
As they continue to unravel a medical mystery with “Forensic Files” and love triangle overtones, sources close to the case tell The Bald Truth authorities could ultimately charge Leslie Boggs with manslaughter– or murder. Her My Space reflects an eagerness to go to the beach shortly after her daughter dies, and sources tell me investigators are hunting purported party girl patterns that might suggest a motive.
When Boggs appeared on Nancy Grace’s new syndicated show, Swift Justice, on September 15, she was the defendant in an unrelated small claims suit brought by Raynna’s father, Eric Gillespie, 37, over a ring she’d lost he wanted back as her suitor scorned. She counter-sued for damages he caused kicking in her apartment door described in polce reports.
Boggs told Grace that she had a history of blacking out while drinking, and has told others the baby was likely conceived during one. A pattern of binge drinking and blackouts that police say shore up their case.
“We thought there was something to this, and we just kept digging at it,” Detective Charles Cook, of the South Charleston Police Department who was enroute to her apartment when he heard paramedics were racing to Thomas Memorial Hospital with the infant.
There, sources tell me nurses noticed the baby’s headed indented, that Raynna was cold to the touch, and developing rigor mortis, suggestions she died hours earlier than Boggs was saying. (See attached police report below).
But it was not until last month when detectives said they had enough evidence to turn hunches into charges against Boggs. Last August she’d married Thomas Myers, but he was now in jail on probation violations stemming from a drug conviction, and on Jan. 21, he was ready to talk.
And boy, did he talk, claiming he’d gotten up to go to work and discovered Boggs passed out on the living room floor, with her leg over the baby’s face. According to police, he claims he lifted her leg off the baby, finding her blue in the face and believing her dead, but went along with his wife’s account to protect her.
While he has issues, and experts say could be throwing his wife under the bus to cut his own jail time, investigators tell me he helped shore up a time line that fit an autopsy describing a non-accidental overlay, the lividity of the baby’s face and upper body supporting that conclusion…an overlay that cut off her oxygen and snuffed out her life.
CNN Transcript from Nancy Grace Show 2-18-2011: