"If I don’t — if I didn’t — chop her up, somebody else would have,” Bahsid McLean calmly told authorities just moments after being arrested for the murder of his mother.
On Wednesday, McLean’s video statement was played in Bronx Supreme Court during the trial for the 2013 murder of his mother, 52-year-old Tanya Byrd. While the tape played, the 26-year-old sat with his head down and took notes in a composition book.
In his statement, McLean alleged that his friend William Morris killed Byrd inside the Bronx apartment.
When asked if he was upset with his friend for killing his mother, McLean plainly said, “No, not really. People die all the time.”
He then described that, although Morris allegedly killed Byrd, it was McLean who used a power saw to cut her body into several pieces.
After he was arrested, McLean explained that, in some ways, he felt obligated to dismember her body.
"If you can kill somebody, you should be able to cut them up too," McLean said on tape. "If you can't do that, if you don't have the stomach to cut them up, then you're a coward."
McLean chopped up his mother while Harris watched and McLean’s brother slept in another room.
Harris later testified against McLean in court. Although prosecutors argued that McLean is a cold-blooded killer, McLean's attorney, Lynn Calvacca, argued that he should be acquitted by reason of mental defect or disease.
McLean has been hearing voices in his head since he was a child and has spent much of his life in mental facilities.
Even when the topic of prison arose, McLean said that he was not afraid to go because he would no longer be taking his medication and he would be able to go to another universe in his own mind.
"That's how I cope," McLean said. "I disappear in my mind.
In the context of the case, McLean’s mental state was first discussed when photos of the aftermath were presented as evidence. In several photos, McLean posed with Byrd’s dead corpse. In one photo, he even holds up her head like a prize.
McLean’s case continues in court at this time.
(Photo: NY Daily News)