The mother and maternal grandparents of an 8-year-old Pennsylvania boy doctors said ‘looked like a Holocaust survivor’ were ordered on Thursday to stand trial on attempted murder and other charges for allegedly denying the boy food regularly and hiding him from public view.
District Judge Brian Arthur was so shocked by pictures presented in court and by medical reports of the boy’s condition after he was removed from the family’s Greenville home in June that the judge ordered the three defendants jailed and set bail at $100,000 each.
Police allege the boy was fed only small amounts of food so he turned to eating bugs when he was allowed onto the back porch.
The boy was 7 and weighed 25 pounds when caseworkers took him to Greenville Medical Center, where a doctor reported: ‘The young man is so emaciated he looks like a Holocaust survivor.’
A doctor said he was one month from dying.
The judge’s decision drew applause from about 60 courtroom spectators – friends, relatives and some complete strangers to the boy – some of whom gasped when the pictures a Mercer County caseworker took of the boy this summer were flashed on a video screen minutes earlier.
Lawyers for the boy’s mother, Mary Rader, 28; his grandmother, Deana Beighley, 48; and his step-grandfather, Dennis Beighley, 59; expressed disappointment that their clients were jailed.
The three family members had been released from custody after they were charged July 17.
Rader and the grandparents contend the boy has a growth hormone problem.