Homicide suspect's mother says warning signs were there


CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - The mother of a teenager charged with killing his father and stepmother says she could see trouble coming, even when he was a child.

Shelby Hodges told Eyewitness News that she has not seen her son, Matthew Liewald, for nine years, since she and her husband Christian Liewald divorced.

Early Monday morning police said Matthew shot and killed Christian Liewald and his wife Cassie at their home south of Pineville, and Hodges said she knew when she saw the story on the news that her son might have been involved.

"I saw it. I recognized the street name. I told my husband, I said, 'It's Matthew,'" Hodges said.

She held a picture of Matthew when he was a toddler and spoke about the boy's father, who had been severe with her and his son.

"(Christian) isolated me when I lived with him, when I was married to him. I wasn't allowed to see my friends," Hodges said.

She said Liewald took the same strict approach to discipline with Matthew, and when the couple divorced she lost custody of the boy because she was severely depressed.

She said that she was concerned when she heard that Christian Liewald and his wife Cassie had taken Matthew out of school and that his intense parenting may have pushed the teen over the edge.

"I think he snapped. I think he just had more abuse than he could handle, and I just hope that now someone will listen to me," she said.

"This is a mother's nightmare. If people had listened to me when I was begging them to help me, it wouldn't have gotten this far."

Previous Stories: September 26, 2011: Neighbors react to teen shooting father, stepmother September 26, 2011: Police identify couple killed, charge teen with their murder