An 89-year-old woman in the US state of Minnesota was murdered by her son after he found the apartment they lived in was infested with bedbugs. Michael Theodore Gallagher, 62, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Michael Gallagher has admitted to killing his mother Patricia Ann Gallagher by suffocating her with a garbage bag, when striking her five times on the head with a sculpture and choking her did not work, according to the arrest affidavit. On 18 December, Michael Gallagher was said to be helping his mother clean the apartment near Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis but on seeing the bedbugs he got angry as he had been unable to get rid of the infestation earlier, which led him to kill his mother.

Gallagher said he killed his mother fearing that the landlord would not renew the lease and ask them to leave the apartment because of the infestation. Gallagher said he had tried everything to get rid of the bedbug menace but was unsuccessful.

Five hours after the crime, Michael Gallagher called the police to let them know that he had killed his mother. A post-mortem found Patricia Gallagher had died of homicidal violence. Michael Gallagher's bail was set at $2m (£0.67m). The next court hearing in the case has been scheduled for 27 January.