Religion at the root of yet another child’s murder

Roderick ‘RJ’ Arrington Jr, right and Yaseen Ege

JUST days after it was reported that a mother in the UK was found guilty of murdering her seven-year-old son when he failed to memorise passages of the Koran, we learn today that another boy, aged 7, was allegedly beaten to death in Las Vegas by his parents after failing to read the Bible or do his homework.

Roderick “RJ” Arrington Jr., was admitted to an area hospital on November 29. Hospital staff observed severe bruising and brain swelling, and the police were alerted. The boy died the following afternoon.

Police arrested the boy’s mother, Dina Palmer, 27, and stepfather, Markiece Palmer, 34, and charged them with the murder of the boy. Investigators said that Palmer “stood by and let her husband” shake and beat the boy to death.

According to KLAS, the arrest report detailed:

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

Markiece Palmer stated the second grade student was spanked on November 27 because he had lied about reading the Bible; he said the boy was also spanked the following day for not finishing his homework.

Police claim the boy’s stepfather beat him with a spatula, belt and possibly a wooden paddle. Dina Palmer allegedly struck her son on his buttocks with both a belt and her hand.

The couple reportedly called a pastor before dialing 911. KSNV wrote: Pastor Kenneth Hollingsworth says he’s as shocked as anyone that Markiece Palmer chose to call him before first-responders.

The Palmers appeared in court yesterday and each face charges of murder, child abuse and neglect

Earlier it was reported that a devout Muslim mother, Sara Ege, 33, was convicted of beating her son Yaseen to death at their home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, in July 2010 and setting fire to his body.

She was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice at Cardiff Crown Court. Sentencing was postponed until early next year.

The boy’s father, Yousuf Ege, 38, was acquitted of causing Yaseen’s death by failing to protect him.

His mother had pleaded not guilty to his murder and claimed her husband was responsible for Yaseen’s death. In police interviews she confessed to beating her son for no reason and that her anger often led to her being out of control.

She and her taxi driver husband had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque as they wanted him to become hafiz – an Islamic term for someone who memorises the Koran.

The court heard Ege become more and more frustrated with her son’s inability to learn the passages he needed to. She told officers:

I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn’t concentrate, I was getting angry too much, I would shout at Yaseen all the time. I was getting very wild and I hit Yaseen with a stick on his back like a dog.

She later retracted her statement.

The prosecution said that Yaseen suffered significant abdominal injuries that were the cause of his death. They included fractures which were non-accidental. He also had numerous historical injuries.

Prosecutor Ian Murphy said:

Sara Ege made no attempt to seek the medical attention he so obviously needed. He clearly suffered terribly. She started the fire to hide what she had done

Hat tip: Trevor Blake (Las Vegas report) and Agent Cormac