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10/10/2013 7:17:00 PM
Dobson found guilty of 2011 murder
Michael Dobson
Michael Dobson
Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Michael Edwin Dobson chose not to attend his murder trial this week, but that had little bearing on a jury that found him guilty of killing Ruby Caldwell and stealing her car in September 2011.

Out of prison for about two years, Dobson, 51, met Caldwell through his mother. They worked together at a Kingman fast food outlet.

But Dobson's elderly mother wanted to move out of Kingman and she told her son he was not welcome to live with her any longer.

The prospect of homelessness, according to testimony, put Dobson in a desperate state of mind. He told several people he needed a car "to get out of town," and Caldwell, who was about 5-foot-2 and 90 pounds, was an easy target.

Dobson went to her home, beat her, strangled her, and then slit her throat with a knife nine times.

He then stole her red Chevrolet Aveo.

Mohave County Sheriff's deputies arrested Dobson near the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park the next day.

He failed to comply with their orders and was shot with two non-lethal rounds deputies fired from shotguns.

Since being placed in the custody of the Mohave County jail, Dobson has vandalized his cell and allegedly bitten a corrections officer.

He told jail officials earlier this week he did not want to attend his own trial because he thought he might try to assault someone or attempt an escape.

Judge Steven Conn allowed Dobson to miss the trial, explaining later he did so out of concern the defendant's potential behavior would prejudice the jury against him.

Conn said it is "very rare" when a defendant chooses to miss their trial, and warned he will "not be so receptive" when Dobson is sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 8.

While the jury did not hear evidence of Dobson's criminal record, it is lengthy and violent.

He is a sex offender who first went to prison in California in 1984 on rape and attempted murder charges. He served 13 years of a 25-year sentence.

He returned to prison five years later on drug charges and remained locked up from 2002 to 2009. Two years later, he killed Ruby Caldwell and stole her car.

Her family is not particularly pleased the jury came back with a verdict of second-degree murder, but they will take what they can get.

"I wanted first-degree (murder)," said Dave Caldwell. "At least they found him guilty."

Dave and his brother, Stephen, spoke lovingly of their mother, saying she was the type of person who would do anything for anyone who needed help.

"My memory of her is her biscuits and gravy," said Dave. "She was a very independent woman. After Dad died, we all asked her to come live with us, but she wanted to stay here."

The jury did not find that Dobson premeditated the killing, but they did find aggravating factors.

Caldwell was a senior citizen, meaning Conn can take that - as well as Dobson's previous convictions - into account at Dobson's sentencing.

He faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years in prison, and because the crime is labeled as "dangerous" under Arizona law, Dobson must serve all of his sentence without the opportunity for early parole.

If Judge Conn sentences him to the maximum of 25 years, Dobson would be 76 years old upon his release - the same age Caldwell was when she died.



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Related Stories:
• Man sentenced for savage murder of elderly Kingman woman
• Homicide cases stacked up in Mohave County court
• Jailed murder suspect bites Kingman detention officer, MCSO says
• Kingman murder suspect tried to kill before


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Article comment by: tracie caldwell

Ruby Caldwell was my grandmother. I cannot believe the MAXIMUM this monster can get is 25 years. He should get LIFE. I think its ridiculous how they cannot take into account this man raped and tried to murder someone in the past, and then brutally murdered my grandma. I don't care if hes 76 when he gets out, im sure he'll be just as capable to murder someone else.

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Article comment by: Nine times

He Beat her, Strangled her, and then slit her throat NINE TIMES.

The Court system should be able to march this guy outside and hang him JUST for that alone.

We're going to feed this animal for up to 25 more years. He's going to Enjoy the only real life he knows behind bars thumbing his nose at the world. ALL we get is the Bill.



Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Is The Danger Past ?

Although I feel this was a particularly heinous crime, I think a maximum 25 year mandatory sentence would protect society from future transgressions to possibly be made by this individual. Anything less would not be just for any of us.

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013
Article comment by: Outrageous Second Degree Murder??

Why doesn't Arizona have a three strikes law? This animal should never be let out into society EVER again!



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