PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – An 8-year-old boy whose mother was killed in The Station nightclub fire will temporarily live with a family member in Maine, a West Warwick probate judge ruled Monday.

Judge Robert Rainville’s ruling honored Dina DeMaio’s will, which said if something should happen to the 30-year-old mother, her son would be raised by Steven Beardsworth.

Beardsworth, of Norway, Maine, is DeMaio’s cousin.

He was one of three people who asked the court for custody of Justin DeMaio after his mother died in the Feb. 20 fire.

The others were the boy’s maternal grandmother, Patricia Belanger, and Perry Snead Jr., who claims he is Justin’s father.

In court Monday, Belanger, a poker dealer at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, withdrew her name from the custody fight. She said her long and odd hours at work would be unfair to Justin.

She endorsed giving custody to Snead’s parents, according to West Warwick Town Clerk David Clayton.

Rainville said there was no proof that Snead was Justin’s father. Snead, who is incarcerated in Florida on a stolen property charge, is not listed on Justin’s birth certificate.

Snead’s lawyer, Anthony DiPetrillo, indicated he would appeal the decision. DiPetrillo said a court in Florida had established that Snead was Justin’s father.

Justin had been living with his mother at Belanger’s house for about a year before the fire.

Belanger and Beardsworth will work out a date when Justin will move to Maine, Clayton said.

Dina DeMaio was a part-time waitress at The Station nightclub. She was working on the night of the fire that killed 100 people and injured nearly 200 others.

AP-ES-06-16-03 1759EDT



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