Charges against a Fergus Falls man accused of abusing a child have been upgraded from assault to murder after the child's death.

Reggie Bethel, 56, is charged in Otter Tail County with causing the death of Mason Weston.,11, died over the weekend. A medical examiner ruled his death a homicide from being a battered child.

The Fergus Falls Police Department and Ringdahl Ambulance responded to a medical emergency in the 1100 block of Mill Street on July 29. Bethel told police that Mason, who was autistic, kept slipping and falling on dog feces in their house on Mill Street in Fergus Falls.

Detectives later said Bethel admitted that was a lie and that he slammed Mason's head into a wall five times and also kicked him because of anger management problems.

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Police said the boy's mother initially lied to protect Bethel but later admitted he would normally beat Mason as a form of punishment.