The father of a 5-year-old boy who died from internal injuries last year has been sentenced to a year in prison.
Michael Rodgers, 31, was sentenced Monday in Spotsylvania Circuit Court. He had pleaded guilty in July to felony child neglect.
Michael Rodgers Jr. died Sept. 14, 2001, as the result of abdominal trauma, according to an autopsy report filed in court records. He also had numerous other injuries consistent with "chronic" abuse, the report said.
Autopsy documents state that about a fourth of the blood in Michael's body drained into his stomach over about a three-day period.
He also had a broken shoulder at the time of his death, along with a healed skull fracture, a healing rib fracture and numerous contusions and abrasions on his face, chest and head.
Commonwealth's Attorney William Neely said the child, known as "Mikey," had received no medical attention for any of his injuries.
The elder Rodgers testified Monday that he realizes he should have done a better job of protecting his son. He could have received up to five years in prison.
Neely said earlier that while no one may ever know how the injuries were inflicted on Mikey, his caregivers should have at least gotten medical treatment.
The boy's stepmother, Shelly Rodgers, was charged with a more serious offense than her husband, felony child abuse. That charge carries a potential 10-year prison term.
But a jury acquitted Shelly Rodgers during a two-day trial in July, a decision Neely called the most "surprising and exasperating" verdict he'd had in 20 years as a prosecutor.
Defense attorney Esther J. Windmueller said there was no proof that Rodgers had done anything wrong.
Michael Rodgers testified that his wife was the child's primary caretaker and handled the medical decisions.
Mikey went home from school sick on Sept. 12, according to testimony.
He wasn't taken for medical treatment until he collapsed Sept. 14. He died in the Mary Washington Hospital emergency room about an hour later.
Michael weighed 47 pounds and was 441/2 inches tall. He had seven siblings but was the only child in common between his father and his natural mother, Katrina Chavis.
Shelly Rodgers has appealed a juvenile court decision to place her four children into foster care ........THIS WOMAN IS NOW LIVING IN SPOTSYLVANIA COUTY UNDER THE NAME SHELLY JOHNSON AND WORKS AT MATTRESS DISCOUNTERS IN SPOTSYLVANIA ,SHE DID LOOSE ALL 4 OF HER CHILDREN AFTER CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE WAS ABLE TO LOCATE THE NATURAL FATHER THEN THE CHILDREN WERE ABLE TO GET THE psychiatric treatment THEY NEEDED,AT THAT POINT THE TRUTH CAME OUT SHELLY & MICHAEL RODGERS SR. HAD BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSING HER FOUR CHILDREN AS WELL ,MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL OF THE CHILDREN THEIR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME ,AFTER YEARS OF LIVING IN GROUP HOMES AND FOSTER HOMES THEY WERE PLACED WITH A WONDERFUL LOVING FAMILY BUT JUSTICE WAS NOT DONE HERE THE STEP FATHER ONLY GOT ONE YEAR AND SHELLY GOT NOTHING,SHE SHOULD NEVER EVER BE AROUND CHILDREN AGAIN ,THAT LITTLE BOYS BLOOD IS ON THEIR HANDS AS WELL AS THE INNOCENCE THEY TOOK FROM THE OTHER 4 CHILDREN ,PARENTS OUT THERE NEED TO KEEP THEIR CHILDREN CLOSE WITH MONSTERS LIKE THOSE TWO OUT ON THE LOOSE IN FREDERICKSBURG ,THEY MAY HAVE GOTTEN OFF EASY IN COURT BUT ONE DAY THEY WILL HAVE TO FACE GOD THEN JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED