A mother arrested along with her boyfriend in the death of her 3-year-old son was charged this fall with criminal domestic violence, SLED records show.
The criminal domestic violence charge against Theia Darion McArdle, 21, of Elloree was filed Oct. 5 in Spartanburg County, according to SLED, though records showed no other previous charges against McArdle before the Dec. 30 death of her son. Details about the criminal domestic violence charge, and the status of the case, were not available late Monday.
Capt. Roy McClurkin of the Newberry Police Department said McArdle also was involved in an N.C. Division of Social Services case in Buncombe County. Efforts to reach a county caseworker for details about that case were unsuccessful Monday.
McArdle and her boyfriend, Richard Frank Vernon Bowman III, 27, are charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of McArdle’s son Gabriel.
The two remain in jail, with a decision on bond delayed until February.
Officials with the Newberry Police Department said McArdle and Bowman had traveled together to Newberry County, as the woman visited a potential client answering her ad on an escort service website. McArdle brought Gabriel along the trip, officials said.
According to an incident report filed with the Newberry Police Department, the couple brought the child to the Newberry County Memorial Hospital just after 2 a.m. Dec. 30. Gabriel McArdle had bruising all over his body, the report said, including on his forehead, right eye, along with a cut on his chin. The report also said he had a “deep purple mark about the size of an adult fist” below his right rib cage.
It appeared the child had vomit in his throat but was unable to expel it, the report said. Doctors determined something had happened that made it impossible for the child to clear his throat, the report said.
A scan of the child’s body showed head injuries that caused bleeding on the brain, resulting in his death.
The death immediately was deemed suspicious by the coroner’s office and the police department, and both agencies began an investigation, according to a release from the coroner’s office.
The couple was arrested later in the day Dec. 30.
An investigation is continuing, officials said.
The couple’s next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 13.
The Associated Press contributed.