Rebecca Greenwood & David Matheny charged in beating death of Sayeed Neilson 14 year old Tennessee autistic teen after mom failed to stop victim’s brother.
A Tennessee man beat his 14 year old stepbrother to death at a home in Hermitage, while their mother watched and did nothing to stop it, an arrest warrant alleges.
Rebecca Greenwood, 52, and David Matheny, 33, were arrested and booked into the Metro jail Saturday morning on charges of criminal homicide.
Metro police said Greenwood called 911 just before noon Friday to report finding her 14-year-old son, Sayeed Neilson deceased at their residence on Topeka Drive in Hermitage.
Greenwood and David Matheny had initially told authorities that the autistic teen, Sayeed Neilson, fell in the shower on Thursday night, October 23, and they had helped him get into bed, according to NewsChannel 5 Nashville. They also claimed that they had periodically checked on him before they went to a bar for drinks.
The pair reportedly added that the following morning they went to a grocery store to buy cleaning products and as the house was being cleaned, they found the boy unresponsive.
Brother and mother in denial
Detectives, however, stated that Neilson’s injuries were not consistent with a fall and eventually took the mother-son duo to the police headquarters for questioning. Greenwood, during the interview, confessed that she saw Matheny punch the teen and kick him in the head.
The mother claimed that she told Matheny to stop but walked away without confirming whether he had stopped beating the child. Meanwhile, Matheny acknowledged that he had been fighting with his stepbrother, however, he denied causing him any serious injury.
Investigators believe that the pair’s claim of cleaning the house prior to the discovery was a ploy to attempt to destroy evidence. The duo has each been charged with criminal homicide and evidence tampering, according to jail records.
Greenwood, in addition, has also been charged with aggravated child neglect, and Matheny has been charged with aggravated child abuse. Both the suspects are currently being held without bond, reports state.
‘Who does that?’
Offered the mother’s sister, Rachel Duncan, ‘I mean my sister didn’t even stop this. She just went out for drinks.’ Adding, ‘Who does that?’
Duncan said her nephew, Sayeed, loved Star Wars, the family’s dog, Halloween, school, and sharks.
Added the relative: ‘He was a sweetheart, and I practically raised him because my sister has some mental health issues, so I was always there to take care of them, and then they kind of pushed me out these last 6 months, and I feel like this shouldn’t have happened.’
Not immediately clear is what assistance, if any, the autistic boy who is understood to have also suffered from Asperger’s receiving beyond the family. Also not immediately clear is why the victim’s brother set on the boy and why the mother declined to intervene.
Neighbors have since told of hosting a vigil for Sayeed at 6pm, Monday night on Topeka Drive in Hermitage.