Las Vegas, NV — Las Vegas police allege that the parents of a 7-year-old beat the boy to death after he failed to read the Bible or complete his homework.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Roderick Arrington, Jr., also known as RJ, was admitted to an area hospital on November 29 because he was unresponsive. Hospital personnel called police officers after they observed that the boy had brain swelling and severe bruising. Arrington died the following afternoon.
Police arrested the child’s mother, 27-year-old Dina Palmer, and his stepfather, 34-year-old Markiece Palmer. Both were charged with murder, and investigators said Dina Palmer “stood by and let her husband” shake and beat the child to death.
The arrest report detailed “open abrasions on [Arrington’s] buttocks, severe bruising to his thighs, marks and bruises on his back and shoulders and evidence of previous beatings.”
Markiece Palmer said Arrington was spanked on November 27 because he lied about reading his Bible. He said he was spanked the next day because he didn’t finish his homework.
Police allege that the boy’s stepfather beat him with a spatula, belt, and possibly a wooden paddle. His mother allegedly beat him with her hand and a belt.
Instead of calling 911, the couple reportedly called their pastor, who then informed them to call police. According to KSNV, “Pastor Kenneth Hollingsworth says he’s as shocked as anyone that Markiece Palmer chose to call him before first-responders.”
Dina and Markiece Palmer appeared in court Tuesday, and each face charges of murder, child abuse, and neglect.