Accomplice in Siskiyou County murder is freed early

YREKA, Calif. — The accomplice of a Medford woman accused of murdering her husband in Siskiyou County last fall has been released from prison after serving half of her 16-month sentence.

Amber Lubbers, 27, of Medford, pleaded guilty in March in Siskiyou County Superior Court to one count of being an accessory after the fact to the November murder of 34-year-old Michael Christopher MacCallum.

Lubbers' maximum sentence under California law could have been up to three years. But based on her lack of criminal history and the facts of the case, Lubbers was sentenced to 16 months, said Lael Kayfetz, Lubbers' public defender.

Lubbers served half of that time because she received credit for the time she was incarcerated before her plea bargain, and because she exhibited good behavior during her jail stint, Kayfetz said.

"Our jail did not release her one day before her eight-month sentence was served," Kayfetz said. "Apparently, her conduct was perfect."

MacCallum's body was found Nov. 20, 2012, at the base of a steep cliff south of Applegate Lake and the California border. An autopsy revealed MacCallum had been shot.

The main suspect in the case is MacCallum's wife, 26-year-old Patricia MacCallum, who is facing a first-degree murder charge.

She and Lubbers were arrested Dec. 7, 2012, in Medford.

Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus said during Lubbers' sentencing that she was there during the commission of the crime and she participated in trying to cover it up.

Lubbers pleaded guilty to the single count in February, as she and MacCallum appeared together in a preliminary hearing. Lubbers then testified against MacCallum in court that day. Lubbers, the first to be arrested in the case, had previously made statements to investigators about her role in the alleged cover-up, Andrus said.

Lubbers' testimony is critical to the state proving its case against MacCallum, he said.

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.

Kayfetz said the victim's mother made an impassioned speech at Lubbers' sentencing, seeking the maximum penalty allowed by law.

"It was eloquent and compelling," Kayfetz said. "My client couldn't stop crying. I would guess that (Lubbers) is trying to put her life back together and somehow atone for what she did. But I'm not sure how you do that."

Both Lubbers and Patricia MacCallum have young children. Kayfetz said she did not know whether Lubbers has returned to the Rogue Valley.

MacCallum is represented by Medford lawyer William Duncan. Her trial date is set for late October. If convicted on the first-degree murder charge, MacCallum faces a sentence of 25 years to life under California law.

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