The death of a Las Vegas 7-year old boy has resulted in criminal charges against his mother and stepfather. Almost three months ago, Roderick "RJ" Arrington, left his maternal grandmother and natural father, and moved from Bloomington, IL to Las Vegas to again live with his natural mother, Dina Palmer, and her husband, Markiece Palmer. A week after the Thanksgiving holiday, RJ was dead.
According to statements by the Palmers in the police report, when RJ refused to obey the house rules to do his homework or read the Bible, Markiece beat and shook RJ while Dina watched. When RJ became unresponsive the couple called their church pastor, and then contacted emergency services. When RJ arrived at the hospital, a doctor noted he was suffering from brain swelling and his pupils were fixed. Open abrasions on RJ's buttocks, and bruises on his arms, abdomen, back, legs, thighs, and buttocks, were evidence that RJ had been beating prior several times prior to this incident. RJ died a day later. The hospital immediately called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Though Dina said she only watched Markiece beat and shake RJ and did not participate, both Dina and Markiece have been charged. Dina was charged with single counts of murder; child abuse, neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm; and child neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm. Markiece was charged with one count of murder and two counts of child abuse, neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm.
Markiece told the Las Vegas police that on several occasions he used his hands, a spatula, belt, and wooden paddle to beat RJ. Dina struck RJ on his buttocks with her hand and a belt.
RJ was a second grade student at Roundy Elementary School. When a Roundy teacher had concerns that RJ was being abused, she called the Clark County Department of Family Services. CCDFS was "in the process of investigation when additional information was reported to the agency indicating the child had been transported to a local hospital and was listed as being in critical condition."
Dina and Markiece are being held without bail. A preliminary hearing has been set for January 18, 2013.
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