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Son Charged with Murdering Mom and Hacking Up Her Body, Police Say

By DNAinfo Staff | February 27, 2013 9:41pm | Updated on February 28, 2013 2:24pm

THE BRONX — A 23-year-old Bronx man who allegedly killed his mother and then chopped her body into pieces which he left in bags on the sidewalks near their home had to be quieted down during his arraignment Thursday, when he began to rail in the courtroom that he hadn't done anything wrong.

Bahshid McLean, a towering figure described as standing more than six feet tall and weighing more than 300 pounds, wore a black trash bag over a white paper jumpsuit during his brief appearance in Bronx Criminal Court Thursday morning.

"I didn't do anything wrong," said McLean, who relatives said is schizophrenic, "I don't need anything at all."

McLean was ordered held without bail on charges of second-degree murder, dismembering a body, and hampering a prosecution after allegedly stabbing his 45-year-old mother Tanya Byrd in the neck within the apartment they shared on Westchester Avenue. He then used a Sawzall to hack up her body with the help of co-defendant William Harris, 26.

The pair then loaded up a grocery cart with the body parts packed into bags, which they dumped over several blocks near Byrd's home.

McLean, who has been placed on suicide watch, has a long history of mental problems, according to his lawyer and relatives.

"Whatever medication he should've been on, he was not on for several days," his attorney Jerry Iannece told reporters after the arraignment. He did not say which medication McLean was prescribed or whether he was medicated at the time of the incident.

Prior to his court appearance, McLean was wearing little clothing and had soiled himself, Iannece said.

"Clearly, there're some mental issues going on," he said. "So, at that point, for everybody's protection, they put a plastic bag on him.''

Harris, who befriended McLean in jail, according to relatives, was also charged Thursday with dismembering Byrd's body as well as posession of marijuana. He was also ordered held without bail.

Police identified Byrd's remains after McLean reported her missing Tuesday morning and gave cops a picture of her, which authorities matched to the severed head they found, sources said.

Cops discovered a Sawzall electric power saw in the Bronx apartment McLean shared with Byrd, and said McLean used bleach to clean up the bathroom where he cut up his mother in the bathtub, sources said. McLean and Harris bought the power saw with cash from a nearby hardware store on Third Avenue, sources said.

On Wednesday evening, an angry crowd shouted and swore at McLean and Harris as police walked them from the 40th Precinct stationhouse in The Bronx.

"How could you do that to your mother?" several people screamed. 

McLean turned his face up to the sky, away from the group of about 40 onlookers, and did not respond.

During police questioning, McLean had blamed the killing on his friend, but Harris told police he had only helped dispose of the body, sources said.

Harris' attorney said Thursday that McLean had pressured her client into helping with the sinister deed. She added that Harris too suffered mental problems. 

After the brutal butchering, the two men were caught on surveillance camera pushing a shopping cart full of Byrd's remains around the neighborhood, sources said.

McLean and Harris are due back in court on March 4.

Byrd's relatives and acquaintances said she had feared McLean, who had learning disabilities and grew up in foster care.

“This was a premeditated murder,” said Cassandra McLean, 49, Byrd’s sister. “A year ago, he was looking up how to commit a murder without getting caught."

The sister also said that the troubled son even tweeted, "Tanya must die."

"She was always scared of him. He was very big, very aggressive," said Stephanie Collazo, 24, who babysat for Byrd's younger son for five years. "The way he would look at someone, he had an evil look in his eye."