Man allegedly began drawing ‘Mom’ tattoo into leg after brutally killing her

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Shane M. Harrelson (Independence Police Department)

Shane M. Harrelson (Independence Police Department)

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A 23-year-old Independence man is charged with the brutal death of his mother, and court documents describe the bizarre behavior that officers say he exhibited after his mother’s body was found.

Shane M. Harrelson was charged Monday afternoon with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Prosecutors are asking that he be held on a $500,000 bond.

He was taken into custody after his 47-year-old mother, Michelle R. Harrelson, was found dead Saturday evening at their home in Independence.

According to court records, Harrelson shot his mother, beat her with a baseball bat and cut her with a butcher knife He attempted to cover his mother’s body with piles of wood and brush. The woman was beaten so badly that some teeth were knocked out.

When officers arrived to the family residence, Harrelson was in a detached garage tattooing the word “Mom” into his leg, according to court documents. Family members said Harrelson has a history of mental issues, and police said he was acting strangely when they questioned him.

Harrelson’s frantic father, Michael Harrelson, called authorities just before 6 p.m. Saturday and had police come to his ex-wife’s home in the 1300 block of East Mechanic Lane. He said his ex-wife’s long-time boyfriend, who lives at the residence, alerted him to his ex-wife’s slaying. That man would claim Shane Harrelson told him that his mother had “chastised him for being lazy and dirty,” according to court documents.

When officers arrived, Harrelson was initially unresponsive but later told an officer, “Thanks for the small talk Officer Boin. It must be tough coming to things like this,” according to court documents.

Michael Harrelson told police that his son suffers from mental health issues and has been admitted to mental health facilities for treatment.

Taylor Harrelson said her mother had encouraged her brother to leave with her that afternoon, but he refused. Court records didn’t say why the victim wanted her son to leave the house. Taylor Harrelson also said she saw her brother’s gun in plain sight during her second trip to the attic to retrieve some personal belongings.

“During the interview, it was apparent to detectives that the defendant suffered from some type of mental health issues based on his mannerisms and behavior,” according to court records. “The defendant had difficulty with focus and staying on the subject. The defendant would often ramble with no purpose and the answers made no sense.”

His comments included him saying he kissed his mother goodbye, according to a statement from an Independence detective.

Shane Harrelson allegedly became agitated and said he was tired of talking about his mother when he was asked about her death. Detectives showed the son pictures of his mother’s bludgeoned face and body, but he allegedly showed no emotion.