Man who used hammer, frying pan to kill mom gets prison sentence - | WBTV Charlotte


Man who used hammer, frying pan to kill mom gets prison sentence

© CBS 5 News © CBS 5 News
Michael Helms (Source: Mesa Police Department) Michael Helms (Source: Mesa Police Department)
Christian Lee Blakely (Source: Mesa Police Department) Christian Lee Blakely (Source: Mesa Police Department)

A Mesa man accused of killing his mother with a hammer and frying pan was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison.

The body of 36-year-old Tina Helms Spencer was found Oct. 26, 2013 in a backyard shed at the family's property.

The victim's son, Michael Helms, then 16 years old, was arrested and tried as an adult.

Michael Helms, who was convicted as second-degree murder and aggravated assault, must also serve five years of probation after he's released.

The teen's friend, 17-year-old Christian Lee Blakely, was taken into custody and jailed on charges of first-degree murder, concealment of a dead body and tampering with evidence, said Mesa police Sgt. Tony Landato.

Mesa police officials said they got a call about an altercation in the 2100 block of East Juanita Avenue. When officers arrived just before 4 a.m., they found Spencer dead inside.

According to a court document, Helms intentionally struck his mother with a frying pan and hammer and choked her in a rage. The boy then moved the body and placed it in a back shed. Spencer's injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma, according to a probable cause statement. 

Helms then waited for his step-father to return home, the court document stated. The boy hit him over the head with a frying pan and punched and choked him, according to the probable cause statement. The man was able to break free and call police.

Officers said they found the hammer and frying pans at the scene. Helms admitted to planning and preparing for the attack. He also admitted to cleaning up the scene and moving and concealing the body, the court document stated.  

Landato said the 16-year-old had been getting into trouble at school and the mother and stepfather had disciplined him at home, including grounding him and taking away his cell phone. Landato said there was a "heated" phone call between the mother and her son the night before she was murdered.

Landato said investigators are still trying to piece everything together.

"It's certainly disturbing to think of the impact that this incident has had not just on the victims but on the parents of these juveniles and extended family and loved ones," Landato said.

Stay with and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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