‘I had to put her down,’ Independence man says in his mother’s beating death

Jackson County prosecutors have charged a 38-year-old Independence man in the beating death of his mother.

Lucas Mauritzen faces first-degree murder charges in the killing of Tamera Rainey, whose body was found shortly before 1 p.m. Monday inside of a residence in the 9500 block of East 14th Street in Independence.

Mauritzen also is charged with armed criminal action.

Officers initially responded to the residence to check on Rainey. Once there, they saw her body on the floor just inside the front door.

Investigators then obtained a required search warrant before entering the house, where they found Rainey lying on the floor in the living room. Her body looked severely beaten and was covered in blood. There were blood splatters in every room of the house and on the ceilings.

According to court records, a witness told police that Mauritzen told him, “I had to put her down.” When the witness asked for clarification, Mauritzen allegedly replied, “Mom.” The witness instructed a relative to call the police, according to prosecutors.

After Mauritzen was arrested, he told investigators he assaulted the victim for several hours throughout the day, striking her with his hands until they began to hurt. He also struck Rainey with his knee. His hands and right knee appeared to swollen, according to court records.

Prosecutors allege Mauritzen also struck Rainey with a plunger until it broke, and that he also attacked her with a fan and a paper towel dispenser.

He told investigators that one point, the victim went to the bathroom and took a shower. Mauritzen continued to assault her, kicking her in the head with the bottom of his foot, according to court records.

Mauritzen allegedly said he decided to kill Rainey, so he hit her again and she started to breathe heavily. Mauritzen admitted that he did not try to help Rainey, and that he waited until she died. He then left the residence and slept at a friend’s house.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.