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Son who made faces during bond hearing for allegedly beating parents unconscious charged with murder after mother dies


Christopher McCullough, 29, is facing a murder charge in the beating death of his mother, Mary McCullough in Raleigh, North Carolina. He’s also accused of beating his hospital, who remains in a hospital. (Screengrab of home via YouTube/WRAL. Inset top: screengrab via WRAL. Inset bottom: booking photo via Raleigh Police Department)

Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, added a murder charge to the man accused of brutally beating his parents unconscious after his mother died Monday, according to a press release.

Christopher McCullough, 29, was already facing two counts of assault with serious body injury. Raleigh police were called to a home shortly before 3 p.m. Aug. 6 for an assault and found Mary McCullough, 75, and John McCullough, 69, with serious injuries. They were taken to the hospital where Mary McCullough later died from her injuries.

Prosecutors say the attack took place in front of a child.

An arrest warrant filed in court says Christopher McCullough assaulted his mother, inflicting “serious bodily injury beating with hands about the head and face causing unconsciousness and serious head injury.” His father also was found unconscious, according to court documents. Their son stole their car after the beatings, records say.

Prosecutors said in court the assaults happened in front of Christopher McCullough’s child, whom he then took without permission as he’s only allowed supervised visits, Raleigh NBC affiliate WRAL reported.

Christopher McCullough was initially arrested on Aug. 6 in connection with the beatings. During his bond hearing for those charges, Christopher McCullough reportedly smiled and questioned the charges.

“This is an allegation, so an assumption,” he told the judge, according to WRAL.

More on Law&Crime: ‘Today we’ve now seen what a murderer looks like’: Man convicted of killing his parents after 3rd murder trial

He’s also facing a second degree kidnapping charge for taking the child, along with a larceny of a dog charge after he stole the family’s gray pit bull, court records say.

“Any murder certainly is horrific but when it involves people in the same family, those are tragic situations,” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told WRAL.

Christopher McCullough has a long criminal history, with previous convictions of assault by strangulation in 2014, driving while intoxicated in 2020, and possession of stolen goods in 2021, among others, according to the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

Court records show that his parents took out a protective order in October, which he’s now accused of violating. Freeman told WRAL that there was “long history of domestic violence and domestic turmoil.”

“We look forward to bringing justice to this victim and her family,” Freeman said.

WRAL reported that John McCullough remains in the hospital. The younger McCullough is in jail without bond.

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