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‘He was out of his mind’: Man allegedly beat his own mother to death inside home while she was visiting him for the weekend

Michael Belous and authorities responding to his mother being beaten to death in his condo (WVCB screenshots)

Michael Belous and authorities responding to his mother being beaten to death in his condo (WVCB screenshots)

A 23-year-old man in Massachusetts was arrested this week for allegedly killing his own mother, beating her to death inside of his home while she was visiting for the weekend. Michael Belous was taken into custody on Monday and charged with one count of assault and battery on a household or family member and one count of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury in the death of 51-year-old Elena Vainer, authorities announced.

Belous’ mother had been staying at his home over the weekend, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Lowell Police Department Superintendent Greg Hudon said in a press release.

According to the release, LPD officers in the early morning hours of Monday, July 17 responded to a call regarding a woman who had been beaten up and was “barely breathing” at a home located at a condominium complex on Middlesex Road in Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell is located less than 30 miles northwest of Boston. The 911 caller was later identified as Belous.

Upon arriving at the address, first responders say they located the victim — later identified as Vainer — inside of the home, noting that she had “obvious bruising to her face” as well as “other apparent trauma.” She was pronounced dead on the scene by responding paramedics.

“At some point during the visit a physical altercation occurred that allegedly resulted in the victim being severely beaten and suffering multiple injuries to her head and neck,” the release states.

The case has since been referred to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for Middlesex County, which will determine the manner and cause of Vainer’s death.

In an interview with Boston Fox affiliate WFXT, a neighbor said that she was watching the scene after police arrived and that Belous was acting out of sorts.

“He was out of his mind,” the neighbor reportedly told the station. “He was just screaming and acting strange.”

According to a report from The Lowell Sun, Belous on Monday appeared before Lowell District Court Judge Daniel Crane for a hearing where Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Yashmeen Desai asked the court to keep him in detention without bond. She emphasized that prosecutors are currently anticipating that they will be filing additional and more severe charges against Belous in the coming days.

A police report obtained by the newspaper reportedly states that when Belous called 911, he told the emergency dispatcher that he had simply “discovered” his mother “down on the floor” in his apartment and that she “appeared to have been beaten up.” The dispatcher instructed him to begin CPR, and he was reportedly performing chest compressions on the 51-year-old woman when police first arrived.

The first officer on the scene told detectives that Belous’ mother had significant “swelling and bruising around her face” and her right eye was particularly blackened. She also appeared “very pale,” was “cold to the touch,” and had “blood pooling around her back,” per The Sun. A detective reportedly noted that such details were indicative of the victim “being in the spot for a much longer time than [Belous] said.”

When questioned about what had happened, Belous reportedly conceded that he was the only other person in the house that day, but then refused to answer any questions without his lawyer or his father present. Police then let him know that his mother was dead and he “fell to the floor,” which is when the officers noted that he had injuries and bruises on both of his hands, The Sun reported.

ADA Desai during Monday’s hearing reportedly told the court that Belous’ injuries were “consistent with having been in a recent struggle.”

“The defendant claiming that she was breathing moments earlier was inconsistent with the officers’ observations on scene,” she said. “It was more consistent with a physical struggle that resulted in her death.”

The Sun reported that Belous’ defense attorney, Stanley Norkunas, responded by claiming the state’s case against his client was “speculative,” arguing that there was “no indication that [Belous] is the person at this point in time who would have inflicted the injuries on her.”

Belous was ordered to be held without bond and is currently scheduled to return to court on Thursday for a Dangerousness Hearing.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.