About 60 courtroom spectators erupted in applause on Thursday when a district judge in Greenville, Pennsylvania, ordered the mother and maternal grandparents of an 8-year-old boy who was left looking like a “Holocaust survivor” to stand trial on attempted murder and other charges.
After looking at shocking pictures of the the boy and medical reports on the child’s condition, District Judge Brian Arthur ruled that all three defendants will be placed in jail on $100,000 bail each.
Police say the boy was subjected to unthinkable abuse, including withholding of food to the point that he ate bugs when he was allowed to go onto the back porch. At the time police discovered the alleged crime, the boy was 7 and weighed only 25 pounds.
Officials rescued the boy just in time as doctors reported he was one month away from death.
“The young man is so emaciated he looks like a Holocaust survivor,” one doctor said, according to the Associated Press.
When Judge Arthur announced his decision on the serious charges and the $100,000 bail, people started applauding in the courtroom. The AP reports some of the people were family members, some friends and others complete strangers to the boy.
The suspects, identified as Mary Rader, 28, his grandmother, Deana Beighley, 48, and his step-grandfather, Dennis Beighley, 59, claim the boy has a growth hormone condition, according to their attorneys.
One of the lawyers alleged that the women might be guilty of failing to seek the proper medical attention, but no other crimes.