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, chocked 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.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.