The Enoree mother charged in the death of her 3-year-old son had an extensive criminal background in both South Carolina and North Carolina, according to criminal background checks.
Theia Darion McArdle, 21, has multiple charges in Buncombe County, N.C., including several charges of assault, child abuse and larceny dating back to 2010. She was found guilty on several of those charges including the child abuse charge filed against her on July 14, 2014.
McArdle also received a criminal domestic violence charge on October 5, 2014, in South Carolina, which was revealed through a South Carolina Law Enforcement (SLED) background check. It is unclear if she was found guilty of that charge.
McArdle and her 27-year-old boyfriend Richard Frank Vernon Bowman were charged with homicide by child abuse after McArdle's son, Gabriel, was pronounced dead at a Newberry County hospital on Dec. 30.
McArdle and Bowman had traveled together to Newberry County as the woman visited a potential client answering her ad on an escort service website, officials with the Newberry Police Department said . McArdle brought Gabriel along on the the trip, officials said.
The couple brought the child to the Newberry County Memorial Hospital just after 2 a.m. Dec. 30, according to an incident report filed with the Newberry Police Department. 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.