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Man Charged With Chopping Up Mom Planned Killing, Says Victim's Sister

By Trevor Kapp | February 28, 2013 7:22am | Updated on February 28, 2013 9:08am

MORRISANIA — The man accused of killing and dismembering his mom and scattering her body parts in garbage bags around the Bronx had been planning the murder for years and had even researched how to get away with it, the victim’s sister told DNAinfo.com New York.

Suspect Bashid McLean, 23, went to police Tuesday morning and told them his mom, Tanya Byrd, 45, had gone missing. He gave cops a picture of her that they later used to identify the body, police sources said.

When cops entered Byrd’s Morrisania apartment, they were overwhelmed by a smell of bleach and recovered an electric power saw, sources added.

“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."

She added that Byrd once told her McLean had tweeted "Tanya must die."

“But my sister, as his mother, loved him so much," she said. "She thought nothing of this.”

Cassandra McLean said Bashid McLean suffers from schizophrenia and once told her “that demons followed him.”

She added that he held a long grudge against his mom after he was placed in foster care as a child.

“He used to start fires for no reason at the group home where he lived,” she said.

“Once, my father came and got him and he set a fire at my father’s house. He’s been troubled for a long time.”

Bashid McLean reunited with his mother about five years ago. But he began to resent Byrd’s love for her second son, now 6 years old, who was born with Down syndrome, Cassandra McLean said.

“He was big-time jealous of the attention [the younger son] got,” she said. “The only thing he wanted was the love of his mother. But he wasn’t neglected. His mother gave him love.”

Cassandra McLean said Bashid, who is the father of a 3-month-old son, was so determined to get away with the grisly killing that he even called her Tuesday morning to tell her his mom had disappeared after meeting up with an ex-boyfriend.

“He was covering up his tracks,” she said.

Byrd’s funeral will be held in Neptune, N.J., where she and her sister grew up. A date has not yet been set.

Bashid McLean is charged with murder, hindering prosecution and unlawful dissection of a human body. An alleged accomplice, 26-year-old William Harris, is charged with hindering prosecution, unlawful dissection, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Cassandra McLean, who now plans to raise her sister's younger son, said she has one question for Bashid.

“Why did you take my sister from her 6-year-old Down syndrome son?” she asked. “Never mind that you took her from us. But why did you take her from [him]?”

She insisted that Bashid is “very much sane” and hopes he receives the harshest possible sentence.

“We want him to feel the shame the way we feel the pain,” she said. “I do not want Bashid to get away with an insanity plea. I want Bashid to have life in prison or death.”