Two more people have been arrested in a 2014 ax murder Phoenix police say was carried out by members of the white-supremacist Aryan Brotherhood gang.
Christopher Paul Mason, 31, was arrested for the crime in December, but court documents obtained by New Times indicate police have arrested two more people in connection with the slaying of 35-year-old Joshua Calkins.
Calkins' body was found on April 16, 2014, in an alley near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road. His hands were tied behind his back, and his body was covered in gruesome injuries.
Calkins, a former member of the Aryan Brotherhood himself, had mentioned to an officer during a contact with police about six months before his death that he had been "green lit" by the gang. Police interviewed more than 30 people that led to the arrest of Mason in the murder in December.
This week, police arrested a woman named Brenda Maas as an accomplice in the murder. Witnesses told police that Maas and Calkins had a relationship that ended badly, and Calkins also robbed one of Maas' friends at gunpoint. One witness said that Mason had killed Calkins, but Maas "made the decision that Joshua would be killed," court documents state.
Court documents indicate Maas also has the lightning bolt SS tattoos indicative of involvement in the Aryan Brotherhood.
The court documents list what nine different unnamed witnesses knew allegedly knew about some aspect of the killing. Four of these people actually saw Calkins the day he was killed, as Mason allegedly kept Calkins tied up in an apartment so he could beat him throughout the day, including one person who claimed to see Mason incapacitate Calkins by hitting him with the blunt side of an ax.
Although Mason was the only one arrested for the crime in December, witnesses helped police get more of the story, leading to the arrest of Maas, and another man, Charles Robbins, who's accused of helping to get rid of Calkins' body.
Maas allegedly admitted to several people that she was involved in the killing, including one witness who said he gave Maas a ride the night of Calkins' death, and Maas said that it was "a rough night, they did it, it was messy, it had to be done and it was done," court documents state.
Police obtained Maas' phone records by way of a search warrant, which showed 30 calls being placed in the area of Calkins' death on the day he died, and of the 77 days' worth of data obtained about Maas' calls, that was the only day she was in that area.
Maas' alleged involvement also led police to Robbins. According to one witness, Maas bragged about how they got rid of Calkins' body. The witness said it sounded as if she was "proud" about how they moved Calkins' body -- they hid him inside of a couch, and loaded that couch into the back of a pickup truck.
Other witnesses also gave police pieces about Robbins' alleged involvement. Not only did cell phone data put Robbins in the area, but 16 days after Calkins' death, while CPS workers were removing a child from Robbins' home, Robbins told them that he "could make people disappear and has made people disappear before," according to the documents.
In addition to the witness statements and the cell phone data, Robbins -- who also has the Aryan Brotherhood tattoos -- was picked by another witness out of a photo lineup as the guy the witness said was acting suspiciously next to a white truck at the apartment complex where Calkins was killed, around the time of the murder.
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On Tuesday, police arrested Maas and Robbins. Maas was booked into jail on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and assisting a criminal street gang. Robbins was booked on charges of assisting a criminal street gang, abandonment of a human body, and destruction of evidence, all felony charges.
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