Medford woman pleads guilty to helping cover up murder

YREKA, Calif. — The alleged accomplice of a Medford woman accused of murdering her husband in Siskiyou County last fall admitted in court today to helping cover up the slaying and is now cooperating with prosecutors in the case.

Amber Lubbers, 27, of Medford, pleaded guilty this morning in Siskiyou County District Court to being an accessory after the fact to the November murder of Michael Christopher MacCallum.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 28. She faces up to three years in prison under California law.

MacCallum's body was found Nov. 20 at the base of a steep cliff near Applegate Creek in Northern California. He died of a gunshot wound, police said.

The main suspect in the case is MacCallum's wife, 26-year-old Patricia MacCallum, who is facing a first-degree murder charge in the case. She and Lubbers were arrested Dec. 7 in Medford on warrants charging them with murder.

Lubbers and MacCallum appeared together this morning in a preliminary hearing in which Lubbers entered her plea, Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus says. Lubbers then testified against MacCallum. She had previously made statements to investigators about her role in the alleged cover-up, Andrus says.

"She's given a tremendous amount of information about Ms. MacCallum," says Andrus, who declined to elaborate.

Patricia MacCallum sat quietly during Lubbers' testimony this morning, Andrus says. The hearing was abruptly interrupted about 11:15 a.m. for a family emergency involving the judge in the case and has been delayed, Andrus says.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey has said investigators have a motive and evidence against MacCallum, but he has declined to reveal them.

Michael MacCallum worked in Medford as a driver for Checker Cab and as a bartender. The victim had celebrated his birthday Nov. 17, and had been on a camping trip in northern Siskiyou County near the Oregon border.

If convicted on the first-degree murder charge, Patricia MacCallum faces a sentence of 25 years to life under California law.

— Mark Freeman

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