Police in Las Vegas allege that a 7-year-old boy was beaten to death by his parents after failing to read the Bible or do his homework.
Roderick "RJ" Arrington Jr., was admitted to an area hospital on Nov. 29 because he was unresponsive, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Personnel there called officers to the scene after they observed severe bruising and brain swelling, according to a police report. The boy died the following afternoon.
Police arrested the boy's mother, Dina Palmer, 27, and stepfather, Markiece Palmer, 34, and charged them with the murder of the boy. Investigators said that Palmer "stood by and let her husband" shake and beat the boy to death.
According to KLAS, 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 stated the second grade student was spanked on Nov. 27 because he had lied about reading the Bible; he said the boy was also spanked the following day for not finishing his homework, according to police.
Police claim the boy's stepfather beat him with a spatula, belt and possibly a wooden paddle. Dina Palmer allegedly struck her son on his buttocks with both a belt and her hand.
The couple reportedly called a pastor before dialing 911. KSNV writes, "Pastor Kenneth Hollingsworth says he's as shocked as anyone that Markiece Palmer chose to call him before first-responders."
The Palmers appeared in court Tuesday and each face charges of murder, child abuse and neglect, the station reports.