LLANO — State District Judge Evan Stubbs sentenced a Kingsland man to 50 years in prison after the man pleaded guilty to killing his 19-month-old stepson in July 2013.
Michael Grogg, 27, was arrested Aug. 2, 2013, after medical evidence revealed his stepson, Paydin Grogg, died from severe brain injury and swelling, likely caused by a combination of blunt force trauma and shaking, according to a statement by Llano District Attorney Sonny McAfee.
The investigation into the toddler’s death began July 25, 2013, when Llano County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the Kingsland Volunteer Fire Department and EMS responded to a Kingsland residence after a caller reported a 19-month-old child was losing consciousness and having difficulty breathing. A helicopter transported the child, Paydin Grogg, to the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin.
The child was taken off life support July 28, 2013.
LCSO investigators responded to the initial call because of “suspicious circumstances.”
A July 29, 2013, autopsy by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed the preliminary findings didn’t support Michael Grogg’s story of what happened to the child. Investigators met with Dell Children’s Medical Center physicians about the child’s injuries, leading deputies to believe the injuries were consistent with abuse, officials said at the time of the man’s arrest.
Llano County Assistant District Attorney Stacy Burke and First Assistant District Attorney Perry Thomas prosecuted the case.
“A guilty plea offers a sense of closure to everyone involved as it requires the defendant to stand up in open court and admit he murdered Paydin,” Burke said. “It also means the families involved won’t have to wait years for the case to go through the appeals process.”
With the plea agreement, Grogg admitted his guilt and waived his right to appeal the conviction and sentence. Had he gone before a jury and been found guilty, Grogg faced up to 99 years in prison.
“I would like to extend our appreciation to the Llano County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers for their long and extensive investigative efforts that gave us the evidence we needed to seal a conviction and hold this man accountable for his actions,” Burke added.