CLEARWATER — A 24-year-old man lured his mother to an apartment Saturday, beat her with a hammer and stabbed her to death, according to Clearwater police.
A woman called 911 about 5 p.m. and reported that she could hear banging noises and a woman screaming in one of the apartments in The Palms at Countryside complex at 25350 U.S. 19 N, police said. Officers arrived to find Mary Beth Lopez, 53, dead.
Her son, Logan Lopez, told officers he had planned to kill his mother for about a year, Clearwater police Major Natalia Illich-Hailey told reporters Sunday afternoon. The son lured his mother to the apartment by telling her to bring over some of his mail, which had been sent to the family’s address, Illich-Hailey said.
Once she was there, Logan Lopez asked his mother to come inside to look at his furniture, police said. He then attacked her from behind with a hammer and stabbed her with a knife, police said. He told detectives he planned to bring her there for the purpose of “putting an end to her,” police said.
“This was a brutal scene,” Illich-Hailey said, according to a video of the news conference shared by WFLA. “You don’t see this very often, even in law enforcement.”
When questioned, Logan Lopez told detectives his mother had “enslaved,” him, Illich-Hailey said.
He has no prior arrests. But in February, police said, he was taken for an evaluation under the Baker Act, a state law that allows people to be held involuntarily for mental health treatment.
Logan Lopez was booked into the Pinellas County Jail shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday on a first-degree murder charge.
A sister of Mary Beth Lopez declined to comment when reached by phone Sunday.