Tuesday afternoon, a jury heard two stories about what happened the night of March 3, 2017, when Angela Mason shot her husband, Jeffrey Mason. Though the stories told of similar events, they offered different perspectives on the night in question.
On the side of the state, Prosecuting Attorney Ron Holliday offered a story about a woman who was trying to leave her husband, who had gotten into trouble at her job with the Missouri Department of Corrections, and who was maybe looking for some money.
According to Holliday, Mason had confessed to purposefully killing her husband to her son Shawn Robertson days after being released from police custody.
“She admitted to him, she took the opportunity to kill him,” Holliday said in his opening statement. “She told him she had threatened to leave Jeffrey Mason, and Jeffrey Mason got upset and told her, ‘I’m going to turn you into DOC for the things you’ve been doing, with the false work compensation claim and for the drugs that you’ve been bringing into the prison.’ She also admitted to him that she wanted the life insurance money.”
Testimony from Detective Frank Till, who interviewed Mason the day her husband was shot, further showed that Mason had been asking about life insurance while giving her statement to police, though Till did not note this in his official report.
What was reported and photographed was Mason’s account of the abuse she had suffered at the hand of her husband, both when they were teens and when they had gotten back together in their adult years. According to Mason’s statement, Jeffrey had beat her, threatened her children, killed her dog and threatened to shoot her several times during their years together.
Photographs presented to the jury from the night of the death showed that Mason had injuries on several parts of her body.
This was the story that Mason’s lawyer, Bert Godding, was trying to tell the jury throughout the first day of testimony. Godding said on March 3, 2017, Angela Mason was being beaten and threatened by her husband the night she pulled the trigger.
“At some point in their struggle, he pulled the 9 millimeter high-point firearm from under the bed,” Godding said.
According to Godding, the couple struggled over the gun, with one shot being fired and missing Angela Mason, and eventually, a fatal shot being fired into Jeffrey Mason’s chest.
“He was pulling the gun, poking it into his chest going, shoot me, (expletive),” Godding said. “And at some point, she will tell you that she realized that he was toying with her, and that she knew that if he got that gun away from her that he was going to kill her. And so she pulled the trigger once.”
After telling his account of what happened, Godding allowed the jury to hear from Mason, playing the recording of her 911 call that was placed moments after her husband’s death.
In the recording, Mason tries to explain to the operator that her husband had been drinking and was beating her, that he had a gun and that a shot had been fired. She said he was not moving, and apologized between her weeping.