New details in murder of Mesa mother

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by Jaime Cerreta

Bio | Email | Follow: @CerretaNews

azfamily.com

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 1:32 PM

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MESA, Ariz. -- New details are emerging in the murder of a Mesa woman, allegedly killed by her own son.

According to the Mesa Police Department, Michael Helms, 16, and his friend Christian Blakely, 17, will both be charged as adults in the murder of Helms' mother, 36-year-old Tina Helms Spencer. Helms and Blakely were arrested Saturday after Tina's body was found inside a backyard shed at her Mesa home.

Police believe Helms struck her with a frying pan, a hammer and strangled her to death. Police say he then dragged her body to the shed in the backyard, with the help of Blakely.

According to police, Helms told them that he killed his mom because he was upset that he was grounded.

Tina was a woman who was well-liked by her colleagues and is being remembered as a good parent by her neighbors.

"She was a good mom. We will miss her. It's really sad what happened to her," said Tina's neighbor, who did not want to give her name.

"She was a good person. She'd be out doing things, taking her son to school and school functions. She loved to sit outside and read her books," the neighbor said.

Friends of Michael also remember Tina fondly.

"She was cool, she was really chill. She'd let us stay here for hours at a time," one teen tells 3TV.

A US Airways Express T-shirt now hangs in memory of Tina. A co-worker tells us she worked there for eight years. He says Tina was a ramper for the airlines, running food, drink and baggage to planes.

Michael Helms is facing charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence and concealment of a dead body. Blakely is facing charges of first-degree murder as an accomplice, concealment of a dead body and tampering with evidence. They are each being held on a $1 million bond.

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