Man gets 9 years in prison for helping move body in 2014 ax killing
PHOENIX (AP) — A judge gave a nine-year prison sentence Friday to a man for convictions for helping move a dead body in the 2014 death of an Arizona man who was bound, gagged and struck with an ax in a killing involving people affiliated with a white supremacist prison gang.
Charles Eugene Robbins, who was given credit for having already served nearly seven years of the sentence, had previously pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and abandoning a dead body in the death of 40-year-old Joshua Calkins.
“Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss,” Robbins said to Calkins’ family before he was sentenced.
Authorities say Robbins went to the apartment where Calkins had been tortured to help Christopher Mason, an Aryan Brotherhood member who is charged with murder in Calkins’ death, clean up the scene and hide the body.
Investigators say Mason attacked Calkins because Calkins’ romantic relationship with a woman affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood had ended badly and because Calkins had robbed a drug dealer who was a friend of Calkins’ ex-girlfriend.
They say Calkins, who was badly beaten over the course of a day, begged for his life and was forced to apologize over the phone for having robbed the drug dealer.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Mason, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. His trial is scheduled for July 19.
“He maintains he is innocent,” said Terry Lynn Lovett Bublik, one of Mason’s attorneys.
Prosecutors sought an 11-year prison sentence, while Robbins asked for seven years in prison.
Authorities say Calkins’ former girlfriend, Brenna Janette Maas, gave permission to Mason to kill Calkins.
Maas is serving a 25-year sentence for her guilty pleas to conspiring to commit kidnapping and assisting a criminal street gang in Calkins’ death.