Vegas mom, stepdad in court for boy's slaying - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Vegas mom, stepdad in court for boy's slaying

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Dina and Markiece Palmer stand in court Tuesday for their initial court appearance for the death of a 7-year-old boy. (Peter Dawson/FOX5) Dina and Markiece Palmer stand in court Tuesday for their initial court appearance for the death of a 7-year-old boy. (Peter Dawson/FOX5)
Seven-year-old Roderick Arrington, Jr. died after being admitted to a hospital unresponsive. Seven-year-old Roderick Arrington, Jr. died after being admitted to a hospital unresponsive.
Markiece and Dina Palmer (LVMPD) Markiece and Dina Palmer (LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A Las Vegas couple charged in the beating death of a 7-year-old boy appeared in court Tuesday for an initial hearing.

Markiece Palmer, 34, and his wife, Dina Palmer, 27, were charged with child abuse, neglect and murder in connection to the death of Roderick "R.J." Arrington, Jr.

A public defender was ordered to serve as counsel for the two, according to Clark County Courts. A bail hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

According to Las Vegas Metro police, Roderick was unresponsive when he was admitted to a local hospital. The boy was observed to have had critical injuries, according to authorities.

Roderick died on Nov. 30.

Markiece Palmer, who was Roderick's stepfather, admitted to striking the boy with his belt before shaking him just two days before he died.

According to police, Markiece also told officers the child ran down a flight of stairs, slipped and hit his head on a table before falling backwards on the floor.

Dina Palmer, who is Roderick's mother, also admitted to striking the child, according to an arrest report.

Police discovered marks on the child and Dina Palmer admitted to having given him "whoopins."

Some of the reasons for those "whoopins" included failure to complete homework and failure to read Bible passages.

Markiece and Dina Palmer are currently in Clark County Detention Center.

"I'm really leaning on the Lord for strength," said Latanza Harris, who is Roderick's grandmother. "Right now, I just feel like caving in."

Harris flew in from Illinois. She called the ordeal devastating and shocking and said the charges are out of character for her daughter.

"R.J. loved his mother," said Harris. "I remember he missed the first plane out here and he started crying. He said he wanted to see his mommy."

Pastor Kenneth Hollingsworth spoke to Markiece moments before Roderick was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"I told him to hang up this line and call 911," said Hollingsworth. "He said he couldn't because he whipped him with a cord."

The family lived with Hollingsworth for a short time. He said he had never seen any signs of abuse.

"I just couldn't believe it," said Hollingsworth. "Markiece never presented that side to me. His mother would have allowed him to do that because she adored her son."

Both Metro and Child Protective Services report they have no prior history with the couple.

Stay tuned to FOX5 for the latest on this developing story.

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