A Newberry couple charged in connection with the death of the woman’s 3-year-old son will remain in jail without bond until February, according to Captain Roy McClurkin, a Newberry Police Department spokesman.
Theia Darion McArdle and Richard Frank Vermon Bowman, McArdle’s live-in boyfriend, are charged with homicide by child abuse. Both appeared before Municipal Court Judge Barry Koon Wednesday morning.
Judge Koon advised them of their charges and told them that because they carry penalties of 20 years to life, their bond had to be set by a Circuit Court judge, McClurkin said. Their next appearance in court will be February 13.
McClurkin said Judge Koon asked McArdle and Bowman if they needed a public defender, and they said they did.
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Charles Verner, a local public defender has been assigned to represent them, McClurkin said.
Three-year-old Gabriel McArdle, of Enoree, was pronounced dead at the Newberry Memorial Hospital shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to an advisory issued by the Newberry County Coroner’s Office.
The death was immediately deemed suspicious in nature by the coroner’s office and the Newberry City Police Department and both agencies began an “aggressive joint investigation,” according to the advisory.
A full body scan of the child showed what the coroner’s office called “disturbing traits” and an autopsy performed Tuesday morning revealed information consistent with child abuse, according to Newberry County Coroner Craig Newton.
Newton said the cause of death was respiratory depression caused by a hemorrhage between the brain and spinal cord area due to blunt force trauma to the head.
The incident remains under investigation by the Newberry Police, SLED and the Newberry Coroner’s Office.