Deputies: Man arrested after 6-year-old comes within minutes of dying

Michael Shiver charged with child abuse months after boy injured, deputies say

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

Nassau County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Michael Shiver

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - A Fernandina Beach man was arrested Wednesday, nearly eight months after Nassau County deputies said he abused a 6-year-old boy who came close to dying. 

Michael Devon Shiver, 27, was booked into the Nassau County jail on a charge of aggravated child abuse, which is a first-degree felony. His bond was set at $250,000, online jail records show.

According to an arrest report obtained by News4Jax, the case against Shiver began on June 23, 2018, when Nassau County investigators were called to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in reference to a 6-year-old boy with life-threatening injuries. 

The report shows hospital staff had also contacted the Department of Children and Families because, according to emergency room doctors, the child’s injuries were inconsistent with statements given by the boy’s mother and Shiver, who is described as the mother’s boyfriend. 

According to the report, when a detective questioned Shiver and the boy’s mother, they both said the child hit his head on a metal truck bumper while running through the yard, and after he hit his head, he got up and continued playing. The detective was told that, a short time later, the boy went to his bedroom to take a nap and when Shiver went to the boy’s room, he found the child unresponsive.  

The detective noted in the arrest report that Shiver and the boy’s mother gave inconsistent information as to how long the boy continued to run and play after he hit his head and how long the child slept before he was found unresponsive. The detective also noted in the report that there was inconsistent information from both adults about how much time passed between when the child was found unresponsive and when 911 was called. 

While at the hospital, according to the report, the detective was provided photographs that showed bruising all over the boy’s body, including his face, left ear, pelvis, abdomen, back thighs, buttocks and shoulders. According to the arrest report, the bruises on the child’s shoulders appeared to be possible finger marks.

The report states that, while interviewing the emergency room doctor who treated the boy, the doctor told the detective that the bruising on the boy’s body was consistent with repeated blunt force trauma and not from a fall. The doctor also told the detective that the boy’s head injury was consistent with being punched in the face and then having his head shaken, and not with falling and striking his head. 

The emergency room doctor indicated that, if another 30 minutes had passed before the child received medical attention, the child would have died from his injuries. 

The report states that, after speaking with the doctor and Shiver’s mother, the detective re-interviewed the boy’s mother.

During a second interview with the boy’s mother, the detective said, she changed her story about how her son had been injured. The report states that she told the detective that her boyfriend had been agitated by her son’s behavior and that he had forced her son to run laps between parked vehicles in the yard as punishment. She told deputies Shiver spanked her son to make him run. She said that, a short time later, Shiver told her that her son had fallen and hit his head on a bumper but appeared to be OK. According to the report, 20 to 30 minutes later, while the mother was outside smoking a cigarette, her boyfriend came out and said her son was unresponsive in his room. 

On Wednesday, Shiver was interviewed by the detective a second time. He told the detective that when he had been alone with the child outside, he had spanked the child. The report states that Shiver was shown pictures of the boy’s bruises, but his response to the images was been redacted from the report.

Following the interview, Shiver was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated child abuse. 

There is no word on the child’s current condition. 

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