ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Fergus Falls man charged with murdering autistic boy by slamming head into wall numerous times

The medical examiner ruled 11-year-old Mason Weston's death a homicide from being a battered child. Reggie Bethel, 56, has been charged with murder in Otter Tail County.

Fergus Falls man charged with murdering little boy by slamming head into wall numerous times
56-year-old Reggie Bethel
We are part of The Trust Project.

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

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

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
What to read next
Perry Lillis, 58, of rural Perham was driving the ATV and was injured in the crash. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, and later remained under the care of the hospital, with injuries believed to be non-life-threatening.
After family realized the child was missing, a search ensued and the child's father found the boy face-down in the water near the shore, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office said.
“The firefighter’s training and experience proved essential in the life-saving efforts,” according to the news release. “It’s estimated life-saving efforts were performed for roughly one minute before the child began to breathe again, prior to the arrival of first-responders.”