MERCER, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A defense attorney says the mother and grandparents of a Pennsylvania boy, who was so malnourished one doctor said he looked like a Holocaust survivor, have pleaded guilty to not seeking timely medical attention for the boy.
The attorney for Deana Beighley says she and her daughter Mary Rader pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated assault. In doing so, lawyer Neil Rothschild says they acknowledged “recklessly causing serious bodily injury” to the boy, who was 7 when welfare workers took him from his home in June.
The testimony from a caseworker, in August, indicated that when school staff noticed that Rader didn’t want her son to eat meals at school, she told them he’d had a big breakfast at home and he would overeat if he ate school meals.
When child welfare workers found the boy, he weighed only 25 pounds, his teeth were abscessed and his feet were irritated and infected. Expert medical reports say he could have died within a month without treatment.
Investigators say they believe when the boy was allowed outside he would catch bugs and eat them because he was so hungry.
Applause broke out in court after the two were ordered to stand trial back in August.
The boy’s step-grandfather, Dennis Beighley, pleaded guilty to child endangerment. He wasn’t directly involved in the boy’s care.
Mercer County prosecutors had argued the Greenville adults withheld food from the boy at his grandmother’s urging.
Sentencing is in April.
Other attorneys didn’t immediately return calls.
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