Police: Mom Beat 12-Year-Old Son To Death Over Pills

Boyfriend Watched, Took Part In Beating, Mom Says

A Greensburg woman was charged Monday with murder in the beating death of her 12-year-old son late last week.

The Decatur County Prosecutor's Office said Tasha Parsons, 29, admitted that she had beaten Devin Parsons, 12, to death after an argument over pain pills, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.

Tasha Parsons' boyfriend, Waldo Jones Jr., 30, was charged with neglect of a dependent, causing death.

In an initial court appearance Monday, a not-guilty plea was entered on behalf of Parsons. She said nothing to the media as she went into court.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Parsons used her hands, feet, a belt, a metal tray and other objects to beat the boy over a period of several hours.

Parsons told investigators that the boy had taken some Percocet pills and would not tell her where to find them, officials said. She also claimed that Jones participated in the beating.

Police were called to the home at about 3:25 p.m. on June 3. Emergency personnel found the boy lying in a bedroom of the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Parsons' mother, Jeannie Welsh, who lives a few blocks from her daughter's house, told 6News she had arranged transportation for Parsons to go the doctor Friday.

"She missed that appointment and they called me at 1 p.m. and said they were sitting in front of her house and she wasn't there," she said. "I should've walked down there to find out why, but I didn't."

Investigators said they aren't sure when the boy died. Jones left the home at some point during the beating, police said, but he helped clean the child's wounds before leaving.

Police said blood was found on the clothing of Parsons and Jones. An autopsy is set to be performed on Tuesday.

Waldo Jones Jr.

"I can't comment or speculate on what any further evidence will be," said Decatur County Prosecutor James Rosenberry. "The evidence as it comes out will be presented in court."

According to court records, the Department of Child Services had previously investigated the home in 2009.

Welsh said she knew Devin suffered in the home, where he lived with his brother, sister, mother and Jones.

"He had to wake himself up in the mornings to go to school, and not only did he have to wake himself up and get ready, but he had to wake up Page and Nate also and make sure that they got on the bus, and if they didn't get on the bus, then Devin paid the consequences," she said.

Welsh said she knew the couple hit the boy, but said the abuse wasn't always in the form of a beating.

"Waldo put him in a cold shower in nothing but a pair of jeans and made him stand like this for hours," she said. "Every time he would move, they would hit him."

Welsh said Devin said he wanted to stay at her home but Parsons' wouldn't allow it.

"She wouldn't let him come. She told him no, that he had too much fun down here, he had to stay home and clean," Welsh said.

Welsh said she wishes she did things differently.

"When your kids talk, listen. They're telling you something that you need know, whether you want to hear it or not," she said.

Neighbor Shirley Heath, who has grandchildren Devin's age, said she is overwhelmed by sadness when she looks across the street at the boy's home.

"He should be going down the street riding his bike. He's not and the other kids are not here either," she said. "I hope that whoever did this to him gets what's coming to them."

Parsons was being held Monday without in the Decatur County Jail. Jones' bond was set at $500,000.

Pretrial hearings were set for both Parsons and Jones for Aug. 3. Their trial date was set for Oct. 17.

Devin Parsons

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