MORRIS - Two brothers involved in the murder of their mother will spend the foreseeable future in prison, while the third has been released from prison with time served after a judge elected to sentence him at the lower end of Minnesota's sentencing guidelines in Stevens County District Court on Monday.
Jacob Seth Cobb, 18, Dylan Cody Clemens, 26, and Andrew Quinton Cobb, 19, all appeared before Judge Gerald Seibel on Monday for sentencing in the murder of their mother, 50-year-old Tamara Lee Mason.
Jacob Cobb was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to the second count of his indictment, murder in the second degree while committing assault in the third degree.
Before delivering Cobb's sentence, Seibel told Jacob he was concerned this would not be the last time Jacob appeared in court.
"You're going to spend a long time in prison, but a longer time out," said Seibel. "You need to find another way to learn to deal with people."
Clemens was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact to Mason's murder.
Andrew Cobb also pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact in Mason's murder, but under his plea agreement Seibel was asked to consider lowering the severity of Andrew's sentence.
Andrew's attorney, Kent Marshall, argued that Andrew has no criminal history and that spending more time in jail would not benefit him or the state.
Andrew apologized for his actions and said Mason "meant the world" to him.
"I'm very sorry for my actions; not a day goes by that I don't think about what I did," said Andrew.
After hearing arguments, Seibel opted to sentence Andrew at a lower severity than Clemens, ordering him to spend 22.5 months in prison. As a result of credit for time already served, Andrew was released from prison after Monday's hearing.
In explaining his decision, Seibel said that although it would never been entirely clear what happened the night Mason was murdered, it appeared that Andrew played a "more passive than active" role in Mason's death.
"You are one of three brothers who have the chance to be the man your mother would have you to be," Seibel said after announcing Andrew's sentence. "That's an obligation you have to fulfill."
Mason was reported missing on Dec. 27, 2010 by Clemens. At that time, authorities treated Mason's disappearance as a missing-person case. Mason's body was found in July 2011, buried in the backyard of the Alberta home where she lived.
The criminal complaint said Jacob Cobb strangled his mother on the living room floor. Then his brother Andrew allegedly put a plastic bag over her head and tightened a belt around her neck. After that, Clemens allegedly drove her body to South Dakota, then to Glenwood, before storing the corpse in a garbage can in a shed for months until the ground thawed enough for the two elder brothers to bury it.