Fayetteville, N.C. — A mother accused of killing her 9-year-old son faced a judge for the first time Monday afternoon.

Chrystal Matthews cried and shook as the judge read the charge of first-degree murder in the death of her son, Zamarie Chance.

“You know I have children, many of us have children, and the allegation at least that a parent could take their own child’s life is very unsettling,” District Attorney Billy West said.

Police responded to the Fairfield Inn and Suites at 4249 Ramsey St. on Saturday morning after receiving a call from a guest on the second floor who said she heard a banging noise coming from the room above her. She told a 911 dispatcher that she thought a woman was being beaten.

“It was just like this repetitive like thud, you know, on the floor. But then, when I muted my TV, that’s when I started hearing like her mumbled cries for help,” the 911 caller said.

As officers headed to the hotel, the caller stayed on the line.

“She’s been yelling for help. It’s been at least a minute since I heard her yell for help,” the caller said in response to being asked if there was reason to believe someone was in danger.

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