Las Vegas mother pleads to reduced charges of child abuse in 7-year-old son's death

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LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas woman has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and agreed to testify against her husband in the death of her 7-year-old son almost two years ago.

Twenty-eight-year-old Dina Palmer pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of child abuse. She initially faced a murder charge after her son, Roderick "R.J." Arrington, was hospitalized with bruises and a brain injury in November 2012 and died soon after.

Palmer and the boy's 36-year-old stepfather, Markiece Palmer, are accused of beating the boy over unfinished homework and an unread Bible chapter.

Clark County Family Services fired a child abuse hotline employee after the incident, saying he didn't properly respond to warnings of abuse just before R.J.'s death.

The worker later won back his job.

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