Bronx Man Accused of Hacking Up Mom Killed Her While She Slept, Sources Say

By Murray Weiss and Alan Neuhauser  on February 28, 2013 9:16pm

MORRISANIA — The Bronx man accused of killing and dismembering his mother, and then taking a photo with her corpse, initially attacked her while she slept, sources told DNAinfo.com New York.

Bashid McLean, 23, fatally hit his mother, 45-year-old Tanya Byrd, on the head with a heavy object while she was sleeping in their Westchester Avenue apartment late Sunday night or early Monday morning, sources said. McLean then swiped a wad of cash from Byrd to buy the power saw he allegedly later used to chop up her body, according to sources.

Leaving his mother dead in the apartment, McLean took a bus to the GED program he attends in Brooklyn, and later returned with one of his classmates to hack up and dispose of Byrd's remains in garbage bags that the pair dumped on the street outside, sources said.

McLean was arrested after he reported his mother missing and police matched a photo of Byrd with the grisly remains that were discovered, police said. He was charged with murder, hindering prosecution and unlawful dissection of a human body and was arraigned Thursday morning.

"I didn't do anything wrong," McLean insisted at his arraignment, wearing a garbage bag over a white paper jumpsuit. "I don't need anything at all."

William Harris, McLean's GED classmate and alleged accomplice, has confessed to helping McLean chop up his mother, sources said.

Harris — who faces charges of hindering prosecution, unlawful dissection, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana — offered police a grim insight into a gruesome killing that has rocked the South Bronx.

The 26-year-old told cops he became part of the plot Monday afternoon, as he and McLean rode a bus together after their GED class, police said.

"[McLean] told Harris he killed her, asked if he would help dispose of the body," a law enforcement source said.

Harris allegedly agreed, and the pair traveled to a hardware store at 2800 Third Ave. in Mott Haven, where McLean bought a Sawzall power saw with cash, sources said. Investigators believe McLean took the money from his late mother.

"He had a small wad of bills," a police source said.

The duo then headed to McLean's apartment, where they hacked apart Byrd's body, wrapped the remains into trash bags, piled them into a shopping cart and dumped them on nearby streets, sources said.

The killing had been planned for years, according to Byrd's sister.

"This was a premeditated murder," Cassandra McLean, 49, told DNAinfo.com New York. "A year ago, he was looking up how to commit a murder without getting caught."

She added that her nephew, who grew up in foster care, is schizophrenic, stating that he once told her "that demons followed him."

McLean's defense lawyers also said he has "mental issues."

"Whatever medication he should've been on, he was not on for several days," attorney Jerry Iannece told reporters after the arraignment.

Iannece did not say which medications McLean was prescribed.

Investigators, meanwhile, have uncovered only one motive for the alleged murder, sources said: "He hated her for a long time."

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