Tania Byrd murder: New York man Bashid McLean accused of killing his mother, mutilating her body with a power saw and posing for smartphone photos with her severed head

23-year-old McLean and his friend William Harris have reportedly admitted cutting up the body and disposing of it in rubbish bins

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The Independent US

A man has been accused of killing his mother, mutilating her body with a power saw and posing for photographs with her severed head.

Bashid McLean is said to have used a smartphone to photograph himself holding his mother’s head “like a trophy” in front of a bathroom mirror, according to the New York Post.

Before the grisly photographs were allegedly taken, McLean and a friend are said to have dissected the body of 45-year-old Tania Byrd using a power saw.

Both men have reportedly admitted chopping up Ms Byrd’s body and disposing of her remains in rubbish bins in a Bronx neighbourhood.

But NBC New York said law enforcement officials are claiming the pair are now “pointing the finger at each other” as to who committed the actual killing.

23-year-old McLean has been charged with second-degree murder and unlawful dissection of a human body, among other charges.

He apparently claims that he left the apartment he shares with his mother at around 3am on Monday morning to withdraw cash, only to find that his friend, 26-year-old William Harris, had stabbed his mother to death in his absence.

He reportedly says that Harris then threatened to kill him and his six-year-old brother as well, if they did not help dispose of the body.

Harris, who is charged with unlawful dissection among other charges, is believed to have a different story - claiming Byrd had already killed his mother, showed him a photograph of her body, and asked for his friend’s help in getting rid of the remains.

According to NBC, both men agree that they went to a hardware store in The Bronx to purchase a power saw and rubber gloves and then returned to the apartment to chop-up Ms Byrd’s body.

Police investigating the crime say attempts appear to have been made to clean bloodstains in the apartment with bleach, and added that the power saw was later found in the home of Harris’ girlfriend.

Surveillance video outside the flat apparently appears to show McLean and Harris carrying numerous bags out of the building’s elevator, before wheeling them away in a shopping trolley.

Several bags of Ms Byrd’s remains were later discovered by a man walking his dog through the neighbourhood.

NBC reported local residents as being in shock at Ms Byrd’s murder, with neighbour Chastily Agosto quoted as saying: “Every time you see her, she would have a smile on her face…How could a son do that to his mother?”