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Nev. couple charged with killing son

Dec. 4, 2012 at 4:26 PM

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A 7-year-old Las Vegas boy died after police said his stepfather and mother allegedly beat him for not reading the Bible and doing his homework.

Roderick Arrington had been serially abused, police said in their arrest report. The boy was brought to University Medical Center in Las Vegas after he was found unresponsive Thursday. The previous night, the boy's stepfather, Markiece Palmer, 34, found him asleep in his bed about 9:30 p.m. Roderick hadn't finished his homework or read his Bible, police said, and Palmer allegedly beat him with his belt, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

During the altercation police said the boy tried running from Palmer and his mother, Dina Palmer, who was also present and participated in the abuse. While trying to escape, Roderick fell and hit his head on a coffee table. After treating gashes on the boy's buttocks left from the belt, the Palmers put him to bed.

The following morning about 6:45 a.m., Dina Palmer found her son breathing but unresponsive. She called her pastor, who instructed her to call an ambulance. About 8 a.m., she called 911 to report the child's status.

Upon medical evaluation, doctors allegedly found the boy covered in bruises and scars and called police, who interviewed the couple. Both allegedly admitted to beating the child as punishment for various incidents.

The police report didn't state precisely when Roderick died, but it says he suffered multiple strokes due to massive brain swelling and never regained consciousness.

Markiece and Dina Palmer are charged with murder, child abuse and neglect, the Sun said.

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