Sons charged in death of Alberta, Minn., woman
MORRIS -- Two siblings have been charged in the death of their mother and charges against a third brother are expected soon.
The remains of Tamara Lee Mason, 49, were found last week in the backyard of the Alberta home where she lived.
Jacob Seth Cobb, 17, has been charged in Stevens County District Court with second-degree intentional murder and also faces a charge of second-degree murder while committing third-degree assault. He is charged as a juvenile. Felony matters against 16- or 17-year-old juveniles are public record.
Andrew Quinton Cobb, 18, has been charged as an accessory after the fact to murder.
A third brother, Dylan Cody Clemens, 25, is in custody in an unrelated case and has not yet been charged in Mason's death, according to Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis.
Mason was reported missing on Dec. 25, 2010, by Clemens, who stated that she became angry that her three sons would not play a game of Yahtzee with her and that she grabbed some items, left the home and did not return.
However, in May 2011, Clemens told investigators that, following a Christmas dinner at a Donnelly home, Mason and her sons returned to their Alberta home. According to the complaint, Jacob Cobb later that evening allegedly told Clemens "that he didn't know if he could take it anymore and that he wanted to kill their mother, Tamara."
According to the complaint against Jacob Cobb, Clemens stated that later in the evening, he allegedly heard a scuffle in the home's living room and that he entered the room and saw Mason face down and that Jacob Cobb was on top of her back and that he had her in a chokehold. Jacob Cobb reportedly then placed a plastic bag over Mason's head and secured a belt around the bag and Mason's neck. Jacob Cobb and Clemens both checked for Mason's pulse and found none.
In the complaint against him, Andrew Cobb told investigators that the family argued about a Yahtzee game and that after the argument, "there was some discussion between the three boys related to their desire to have their mother dead."
Andrew Cobb stated that he witnessed the alleged incident and that in the spring he helped Clemens bury Mason's body under a shed in the backyard of the property.
After the alleged homicide, Clemens stated in the complaint against Jacob Cobb that they loaded Mason's body in the trunk of a vehicle and were going to drive to South Dakota to dispose of the body.
The body was allegedly moved to the backseat of the vehicle at one point, and the brothers abandoned plans to dump the body and returned to Alberta.
Mason's body was moved to the basement and placed in a garbage can, then on Dec. 26 the body was moved to the trunk of Mason's Chevrolet Lumina.
Clemens allegedly drove the Lumina to a rural Glenwood residence and told the resident that he had an animal carcass he wanted to burn in an outdoor wood furnace on the property. But Clemens chose to not use the furnace and after a couple of days at the residence, he returned to Alberta with the garbage can and the body and placed them in a shed on the property.
In the spring, Clemens allegedly began digging a hole in the shed, covering the open end of the structure with a box spring. In three days, he dug a hole five to six feet deep and he placed Mason's body and her purse in the hole.
In late May, two individuals told investigators that Clemens allegedly told one individual that Jacob Cobb had killed Mason, and Clemens asked the other individual how to dispose of a body.
Investigators searched the property on July 7 and found Mason's remains. An autopsy performed in Ramsey County determined that Mason's death was a homicide and was probably caused by "asphyxiation due to neck compression resulting in a fractured larynx."
Tom Larson writes for the Morris Sun Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.