Mother, Stepfather Arrested in Boy's Beating Death - 8 News NOW

Mother, Stepfather Arrested in Boy's Beating Death

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Roderick "RJ" Arrington Jr. in Illinois before moving to Las Vegas. Roderick "RJ" Arrington Jr. in Illinois before moving to Las Vegas.
A letter was sent home to parents of students attending Roundy Elementary School. A letter was sent home to parents of students attending Roundy Elementary School.

LAS VEGAS -- A 7-year-old boy is dead, and his mother and stepfather are facing murder charges after the child died following a severe beating, according to Metro Police.

Markiece Palmer, 34, and Dina Palmer, 27, are both charged with child abuse, murder and child neglect. According to the arrest report, 7-year-old Roderick "RJ" Arrington, Jr. moved in with his mother and stepfather less than three months ago. He previously lived with his father and grandmother in Illinois.

The child was admitted to the hospital November 29th with extensive brain swelling and in critical condition. Roderick died at 2 p.m. November 30th.

RJ's grandfather, George Roach, said his grandson loved school and playing football.

"That's what hurt us the most - for a kid, 7 years old, who didn't get a chance to see his high school, his college years," Roach said. "I know in my mind he said, 'I wanted Paw-Paw.' That's the relationship that we had with our grandkids."

The arrest report details the child's injuries, including open abrasions on his buttocks, severe bruising to his thighs, marks and bruises on his back and shoulders and evidence of previous beatings.

Markiece Palmer told police he and Dina Palmer spanked the child November 27th, because he lied about reading a Bible verse. Markiece Palmer said Roderick was spanked again the next day for not finishing his homework. In the arrest report, Markiece Palmer said the boy balled up his fists and "ran at him". That resulted in Markiece shaking the child. He also told police Roderick slipped at the bottom of the stairs and hit his head on a table and the floor.

According to the arrest report, Markiece said the boy was breathing the next morning but not conscious. He advised his wife to call 911 and their pastor.

Roderick was a second grader at Roundy Elementary School. There will be grief counselors available to staff and children at the school for as long as necessary. 

As RJ's family prepares to lay the boy to rest, Roach said the family wants to know how the abuse and his death could happen.

"We just loved him so much, and he's just going to be truly missed," Roach said.

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