Mesa, AZ Juvenile Charged with First-Degree Murder in Mother’s Death

by on March 25, 2014

16-year-old Mesa, AZ resident, Michael Helms has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to his mother’s gruesome October death. Helms is accused of beating her to death with a hammer and frying pan before hiding her body in a shed near the family’s home.

A friend of Helms, 17-year-old Christian Blakely is suspected of helping Helms move the body and is also facing charges related to the murder.

Attempted Murder

After killing his 37-year-old mother and dragging her body to the shed, Helms allegedly waited in the home for his stepfather, for whom he had planned a similar fate. Though the 6-feet-6-inches tall, 265 pound teenager attempted to also beat his stepfather to death, the man was reportedly able to escape out the front door and call police around 3:30am.

When police arrived on the scene, they found blood in the home, the frying pan and hammer, and the body of Helms’ mother in the shed. Investigators believe that Helms fled in his mother’s car, driving up near Payson, before returning to Mesa where he was arrested at 5pm later that day.

Helms was consequently also charged with attempted murder. Blakely is not suspected of being involved in the attack on the stepfather.

Why did he do it?

Police Sgt. Tony Landato suggested that Helms’ fit of rage came after his mother grounded him from using his cell phone following an incident at school.

Charged as Adults

It has been reported that both Helms and Blakely will be charged as adults in the case of Helms’ mother.

A.R.S. 13-501 states that the county attorney will bring adult charges against a juvenile in Arizona who is between the ages of 15 and 17 at the time of the offense and the juvenile is accused of any of the following crimes:

-First-degree murder

-Second-degree murder


-Armed robbery

While Helms and his accomplice will face the same sentencing guidelines as other adult offenders, they will not receive the death penalty, despite the horrific nature of their crime. Any offender who is under the age of 18 at the time of their offense may not receive the death penalty in Arizona.

If your child is accused of a violent felony offense in Mesa, Tucson, Gilbert, Chandler, or another AZ city, the juvenile defense attorneys at JacksonWhite will work to minimize their penalties and prison time, and will do everything in our power to keep their case in Arizona’s juvenile court system. Get the protection your child needs—dial 480-818-9943 to schedule a FREE consultation with dedicated JacksonWhite juvenile crimes lawyer, Jeremy Geigle.

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