Roderick “R.J.” Arrington was allegedly beaten to death by his mother and stepdad because he failed to read his Bible and finish his homework. Parents Markiece Palmer, 34, and Dina Palmer,27, are facing murder charges along with counts of child abuse and neglect for the late November beating death, reports the Daily Mail.
According to an arrest report that was released Monday, Arrington, a second grader, had recently relocated from Illinois to Las Vegas about three months ago; he had been living with his biological father and grandmother. The child went to live with his mother, Dina, and her new husband of only five months. It was the first time Arrington was meeting his stepdad.
Markiece told police that he only spanked Arrington twice, the first time for lying and the second time on that fateful day. The stepfather told police investigators that Arrington had allegedly told him that he hated him and had also informed him that he was not his father. However after further questioning, police uncovered the truth from Markiece that he had actually hit the child several times and had used items such as a belt, spatula, wooden paddle and his hands.
The mother also admitted to investigators that she had been present and actually participated in each beating as well.
On November 27, Markiece admitted to police that he spanked Arrington for lying about reading a biblical chapter. Dina also said that she had spanked her son on his buttocks with both a belt and her hand on the same day.
The next day, Markiece, a pastry chef and independent filmmaker, found out that Arrington’s homework had not been completed around 9:30 p.m. But, the child was fast asleep. The stepdad admitted to striking him with a belt on his buttocks for not finishing up his school work. He then said that during the altercation, the seven-year-old ran up against him with balled fists.
Markiece admitted to officers that it was at that point, he grabbed the child and shook him hard. Dina then interceded, spanking Arrington with a belt and then a paddle.
At some point during the whippings, the parents claimed that Arrington ran down some stairs and hit his forehead on a table. Markiece told the child to take a bath, then put cocoa butter on the open wounds on his buttock.
The child told Markiece he felt like throwing up, but his comments fell on deaf ears, so he went to bed and never woke up.