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In extremely sad and disturbing news, a 7-year-old Las Vegas boy,  Roderick “RJ” Arrington has lost his life and his mother and step father are facing serious jail time in relation to his passing. Police arrested the child’s mother, Dina Palmer, 27, and her husband Markiece Palmer, 34, and they both have been charged with murder.

It is being reported that the incident occurred after Roderick lied to his parents about having done his homework and reading a Bible verse. Allegedly Dina stood by and allowed Marckiece to violently shake and beat the second grader until he was unresponsive. The shaking endured by the boy is said to have caused severe brain swelling and bleeding and produced symptoms similar to that of shaken baby syndrome.

According to KLAS News Now, the arrest report revealed that this isn’t the first occurrence of abuse endured by Roderick at the hands of parents.

“Open abrasions on [Arrington’s] buttocks, severe bruising to his thighs, marks and bruises on his back and shoulders and evidence of previous beatings.”

According to police, Roderick was beaten with a belt, spatula and possibly a wooden paddle. Once the parents realized that RJ was unresponsive, they quickly called their Pastor who shared that he was shocked that the Palmers called him before they called the police. RJ died in the hospital the afternoon following the incident.

The grandmother of the child, Latanza Harris, revealed to KLAS that Marckiece frequently demonstrated patterns of “abusive controlling behavior” and that “Marckiece worked to control Dina, stopping her from using the phone without supervision, demanding money and separating her from her family.” Latanza also revealed that she is trying to forgive herself for sending RJ back to his mother.

“I just have to forgive myself for letting him come back out here because it was a struggle to let him go.”

Both Dina and Marckiece are facing child abuse, neglect and murder charges.

What happened to RJ is extremely tragic and unfortunate, particularly considering that his mother may have been able to do something to prevent his death. Hopefully the rest of this family will be able to move forward as they prepare to lay this him to rest.

Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

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