Boy accused of shooting mom returns in court

Cary Ashby • Apr 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

A Willard teenager being tried as an adult on an allegation he shot his mother in the back could face a trial that lasts three days or more.

Michael E. Mason, 17, of 23 N. Main St., has a May 14 trial scheduled in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Huron County Public Defender David Longo, at Monday's hearing, said the proceedings could continue through the week.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler expressed a concern about jury selection "because of the enormous publicity" about the case.

Mason fled the scene of the May 30 shooting, which caused an extensive manhunt. The search forced Willard City Schools to be on lockdown. Mason eventually was arrested in the 500 block of Pearl Street. He remains incarcerated at the Seneca County Youth Center in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

The boy's mother was taken to Mercy Willard Hospital and later transferred to a Toledo hospital. She was released later.

Mason has pleaded "not guilty by reason of insanity" to attempted murder. The first-degree felony comes with a gun specification, which would add another three years to a sentence of three to 11 years in prison.

A clinical psychologist at the District 5 Forensic and Diagnostic Center in Mansfield has determined Mason wasn't insane at the time of the incident.

In December, Leffler said there's a "reasonable possibility" Mason could be found guilty after reviewing his statement to Willard police officers "moments after it happened."

"There's nothing on that video that indicates an individual (who is) insane or not dealing with reality," Leffler said earlier. "Obviously there's something bizarre going on when you shoot your mother."

When Judge Jim Conway asked Longo and Leffler if there had been any plea negotiations, Longo said, "we've talked, but there's nothing firm."

Mason's next pre-trial hearing is May 7.

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