62-year-old Michael Theodore Gallagher has been charged with a single count of second-degree murder after allegedly killing his 89-year-old mother because of a bedbug infestation.
Prosecutors say that he called 911 on Friday to report that he had killed his mother, Patricia Ann Gallagher, inside the apartment they shared in Minneapolis.
Gallagher told authorities that he was “despondent,” fearing that the landlord would refuse to renew their lease because of the bedbugs, and that his mother “had a lot of things to move.”
He says he’d tried several methods to get rid of the bedbugs, but nothing had worked. He claims he was afraid the chemicals had gotten into the water system and contaminated it.
He then told investigators that he climbed on top of his mother as she was lying down and struck her five times with a sculpture (which happened to be of himself), but when she didn’t die right away, he then tried to smother her with a pillow.
When that didn’t work either, he says he tried to choke her with his hands, but she fought back. Finally, he resorted to suffocating her by holding a garbage bag over her head.
He waited five hours before calling 911.
Autopsy results found that Patricia Gallagher died of “complex homicidal violence,” citing several blunt force injuries to her head, and evidence of neck compression.