Mesa teen pleads guilty in killing of his mother

Posted: Updated:
Michael Helms By Jennifer Thomas Michael Helms By Jennifer Thomas
Tina Helms Spencer By Tami Hoey Tina Helms Spencer By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX (AP) -- A 17-year-old Mesa boy has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the fatal beating of his mother during a dispute.
 
Michael Helms pleaded guilty Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court to second-degree murder and aggravated assault. He'll be sentenced March 16 by Judge Bruce Cohen
 
Helms previously had pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in the Oct. 25, 2013, death of Tina Helms Spencer and a subsequent nonfatal attack on his stepfather.
 
Authorities have said Helms, then 16 years old, struck his mother with a frying pan and hammer, choked her, dragged her body to a backyard shed and cleaned up the scene.
 
He also was accused of striking his stepfather with a frying pan and choking him. The stepfather managed to break free and call police.

RELATED:

Mesa police release 911 call in mom's killing

New details in murder of Mesa mother

Mesa teen accused of killing mom charged as adult

Son, friend arrested in murder of Mesa woman