MERCER, Pa. (WKBN) – Charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder were filed Thursday against the grandparents and mother of a boy found starving in Greenville in early June.
During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, the case was bound over to the Mercer County Court from the lower court in Greenville. Facing charges are the boy’s mother, Mary C. Rader. 28; and his grandparents, Dennis Beighley, 59, and Deana Beighly, 48.
Attorneys for the three suggested that the boy had a problem with growth hormones, but county caseworkers and doctors indicated that it appeared he was purposely kept from eating and nearly starved.
All three are being held on $100,000 straight bond. Another trial for the trio is scheduled for Oct. 7.
They had nothing to say as they were led away in handcuffs after their preliminary hearing on Thursday.
Inside the courtroom, prosecutors argued the case that 7-year-old Antonio Rader was denied food for years by the three and held him out of the public’s eye to conceal what they did. And they got away with it, until a neighbor reported seeing a skeleton walking around the yard outside the Second Street home.
A criminal complaint filed in Mercer County Court in mid-July showed that one doctor considered the starving boy found in Greenville in June to be “the worst case of medical neglect that I have ever seen in my seven years as a pediatrician.”
WKBN has obtained a criminal complaint that sheds more light on the case. The 8-year-old child was found on June 6 and taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Medical experts found that the child weighed 25 pounds. Other assessments listed in the complaint include:
- It would be impossible not to notice the boy’s malnourishment, especially next to his siblings, who are largely of a healthy weight, according to Dr. Jennifer Wolford of the UPMC Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center.
- The boy will take one to two years to catch up to normal development.
- “Unless you go back to data found from concentration camps it is impossible to know what his long term intelligence will be or how it may have suffered, we know that a child’s brain needs food,” Wolford said.
- Wolford said the boy was within a month of having a serious cardiac event from which he may not have recovered.
- The boy has gained 20 pounds since being picked up June 6.
- The boy and his siblings said in interviews that he was only given small portions of tuna fish and eggs to eat and was often beaten with a belt, especially when he tried to take extra food. The interviews also alleged that the boy only got a shower as punishment and that the water for the showers was always cold.
- The boy was removed from school in August 2013 to be home-schooled.
- The boy was not let out of the house, according to the complaint, except to be on the back porch, where he would sometimes eat insects.