MERCER, Pa. (AP) – A preliminary hearing was scheduled for the mother and maternal grandparents of a 7-year-old western Pennsylvania boy who was found abused and nearly starved to death by child welfare workers in western Pennsylvania in June.
The boy’s mother, 28-year-old Mary C. Rader, and the grandparents who lived with them, 58-year-old Dennis Beighley and his 47-year-old wife, Deana, faces charges including aggravated assault, endangering a child’s welfare and conspiracy.
Mercer County detectives believe the boy’s grandmother didn’t like him and led the efforts to abuse him. Her attorney has refused to comment on the case.
Investigators say the boy appeared skeletal and wasn’t allowed outside, except on a back porch where he sometimes ate bugs he caught.
Thursday’s hearing will determine whether there’s enough evidence for the defendants to stand trial.
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