Judge’s decision prompts applause in case of boy starved, living on bugs

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MERCER, Pa. (AP) — The mother and maternal grandparents of a 8-year-old Pennsylvania boy who doctors said looked like a “Holocaust survivor” have been ordered to stand trial on charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

District Judge Brian Arthur was so upset by pictures and reports that the boy was 25 pounds in June that he revoked the defendants’ bond and ordered them jailed unless they each post $100,000.

According to Daily Mail, the judge’s decision drew  applause from nearly 60 people in court.

Attorneys for the boy’s mother, 28-year-old Mary C. Rader, and grandparents, 59-year-old Dennis Beighley and 48-year-old Deana Beighly, suggested the boy had a problem with growth hormones. But county caseworkers and doctors indicated it appeared he was purposely kept from eating and nearly starved.

The boy, then 7, was removed from his Greenville home in June when a neighbor noticed his “skeletal” appearance. Investigators say he was beaten for sneaking food, was nearly starved and sometimes resorted to eating insects he caught on his back porch.

Doctors say he was about one month from death.

The unidentified boy lived with his mother and grandparents and three siblings — two sisters, ages 4 and 11, and a 9-year-old brother. They’ve been placed in the care of child welfare authorities.

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