Judge’s decision prompts applause in case of starved boy who lived on bugs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
A 7-year-old boy in Greenville, Penn., was beaten and starved by his family allegedly in this house, resorting to eating insects. (Photo: CNN via WKBN)

A 7-year-old boy in Greenville, Penn., was beaten and starved by his family allegedly in this house, resorting to eating insects. (Photo: CNN via WKBN)

MERCER, Pa. (AP/CNN) — The mother and maternal grandparents of an 8-year-old Pennsylvania boy who police say nearly starved to death 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 on Thursday he revoked the defendants’ bond and ordered them jailed unless they each post $100,000.

The judge’s decision was met with applause by dozens of courtroom spectactors, including friends, family members and strangers, The Daily Mail reports.

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.

“The child was starved,” Dr. Jennifer Wolford of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Child Advocacy Center was quoted as saying in a criminal complaint. She described the boy as “the worst case of medical neglect that I have ever seen in my seven years as a pediatrician.”

The unidentified boy lived with his mother and grandparents and three siblings — two sisters, ages 4 and 11, and a 9-year-old brother, the paper reported.

The two girls appeared healthy, the criminal complaint said. The brother was underweight though not as severely as the victim.

According the complaint, Rader was home-schooling the victim. The only time he was allowed outside was to be on the back porch, where he sometimes fed on bugs. The boy was only given small portions of tuna fish and eggs.

The victim was often beaten with a belt, sometimes for sneaking bread and peanut butter without permission, the complaint said. He also was punished with ice-cold showers.

The children have been placed in the care of child welfare authorities.


  • Andy K Gamisou

    animals! they should get fed bugs and then covered in peanut butter in a room full of hungry elephants!

  • mary plaza

    Sounds like lisa carr schoomaker, but child protection won’t help her kids. They lie there way around all complaints listing medical issues, which were incorrectly diagnosed in order to get SS disability. So the boys on drugs to satisfy the bogus disability claim. People are soooo sick.child is raped as a “punishment” for anything, put outside in the cold with a t-shirt on, in the winter, thrown in a dark closet with spiders, roaches, bugs, mice for a day…punishment again.people are sick

  • Wanda Baker

    Finally a Judge with some common sense…Now lock up the adults 4/ever and a day and let them live on bugs!! Oh, and don’t forget to beat them every other day would be nice!

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.