Michael Roy Helms, 16, is accused of murdering his mother Saturday morning, while his 17-year-old friend Christian Lee Blakely is accused of helping cover it up. Both have been charged as adults and a judge set their bond Monday at $1 million.
"We all had really high hopes that he was going to go far in the Army," said one friend, speaking of Helms.
It's a dream that both students may have now lost; both were a part of the ROTC program at Gilbert High School.
Friends described both Helms and Blakely as nice, caring and considerate of peoples' feelings.
"I was really shocked because I don't know why someone would do that to their mom," said one friend.
"I fight with my mom and I would never, never think about that. Like I don't understand how you can do that," said Stephanie Galvan.
"They were both in ROTC and they were just big old teddy bears," said Sydney Knutson.
Police said Helms may have resorted to violence after he was punished at home for something that happened at school. They said he got into a fight with his mom hours before she was killed.