Tennessee mother, stepbrother accused in death of boy, 14, with autism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The mother and stepbrother of a 14-year-old Tennessee boy with autism were charged in the teen’s death, authorities said.

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Rebecca Greenwood, 52, and David Matheny, 33, both of Nashville, were arrested on Saturday morning and charged with criminal homicide, aggravated child abuse and evidence tampering, WKRN reported.

The teen, Sayeed Nelson, was found dead from assault-related trauma, The Tennessean reported. According to police, Greenwood called 911 on Friday to report that her son appeared to be dead, the newspaper reported. She and Matheny told police the boy had fallen in the shower on Thursday and hit his head.

According to an arrest warrant, Greenwood said that she and Matheny, who is also her son, checked on Nelson multiple times that day, then went to a bar for drinks, WZTV reported.

Greenwood and Matheny told police they bought cleaning products on Friday and returned home to the boy unresponsive in his room, WSMV reported.

Detectives, seeing injuries to the teen inconsistent with a fall, brought Greenwood and Matheny in for further questioning, The Tennessean reported. After further questioning, Greenwood admitted that she saw Matheny punch and kick the teen in the head, according to the newspaper.

According to police, Greenwood said she told Matheny to stop the assault, but walked away and did not make sure it had ended, WZTV reported. Matheny admitted to police that he did have a fight with his stepbrother, but denied causing serious injury, the television station reported.

Both Greenwood and Matheny are being held without bail.