Nashville mother, son charged with homicide in 14-year-old boy's death
WKRN / Metro Nashville Police
Rebecca Greenwood and David Matheny are charged with criminal homicide, aggravated child abuse and evidence tampering.

By Josh Breslow, WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) -- A man beat his teenage brother 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.

Metro Nashville 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.

An arrest warrant states Greenwood claimed Sayeed, who had autism, had fallen in the shower the day before and hit his head. She said she and Matheny, her son, checked on the boy multiple times that day, then went to a bar for drinks and checked on him again before going to bed that night, according to the paperwork.

Greenwood called 911. Sayeed was pronounced dead at the residence. Upon further investigation, police determined the teenager’s injuries were not consistent with a fall.

Detectives questioned Greenwood, who they said admitted she had watched as Matheny punched the teenager and “stomped on his head” during an altercation.


Metro Nashville Police said Sayeed Nelson, who had autism, appears to have died from assault-related trauma. His mother, Rebacca Greenwood, 52, and her other son, David Matheny, 33, are charged with criminal homicide, aggravated child abuse and evidence tampering. They were held without bond.

Greenwood and Matheny said they purchased cleaning products at a grocery store Friday morning, cleaned the house, and subsequently found Nelson unresponsive in his room.

Greenwood and Matheny were taken to police headquarters for detailed interviews, during which Greenwood admitted to seeing Matheny punch Nelson and kick him in the head. She admitted to telling Matheny to stop the assault before walking away without ensuring that he did stop.

Detectives believe the defendants’ cleaning of the house was related to destroying or limiting the availability of evidence.

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