LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Markiece and Dina Palmer, who are accused in the death of Dina’s 7-year-old son, Roderick Arrington, made their first appearance in court this morning at the Regional Justice Center.
Dina Palmer cried during most of her time in front of the court. The Palmers are charged with child abuse and murder.
Roderick, also known as R.J., had lived with his grandmother, Latanza Harris, Dina’s mother, and his biological father in Illinois before moving to Las Vegas to be with his mother.
Roderick had only been here for a few months.
Harris says she's leaning on her faith to get her through this family tragedy.
A woman of faith, she says she's grappling with the reality of what happened to her grandson.
Arrest reports reveal graphic abuse: open wounds and marks all over Roderick and a night of abuse that left him unresponsive with swelling on the brain in the hospital.
“I would always ask him if something was wrong on the phone, and he'd say, ‘I'm OK, Grandma,’ “ Harris said.
Harris says she doesn't know what to think right now but says prayer is getting her through.
“I just have to forgive myself for letting him come out here,” she said.
Harris said she could see a change in her daughter after Dina moved to Las Vegas with her husband, Markiece, a man Harris describes as very possessive.
“It was almost like she was scared or something,” Harris said. “I'm not trying to paint this picture because I don't know. I just know what I've encountered with her since she's been with in their relationship.
“It was almost like it was demonic. It didn't seem right. I pray God will help him through this, too, and if there is anything demonic, deliver him from that.”
Amid the tragedy, Harris has a hope something can be gained from her grandson's tragic death.
I know his mother has to live with this for the rest of her life. I pray that God will use this situation and use her to be a blessing to someone else to prevent this from happening again through her faith,
Leaning on her faith, she says she takes comfort in knowing where her little grandson now rests.
“I know my grandson is with the lord. R.J. is truly with God,” she said.
Harris says she talked briefly with her daughter, who said this wasn't supposed to happen and she was sorry.
A bail hearing will take place in the next two days for the Palmers. R.J.'s funeral is planned for Saturday in Illinois.