Mason posts bond, son turns himself in
16-year-old faces assault charge after alleged attack on teen
Cassville man James Mason posted a $250,000, cash-only bond on Feb. 18, and he has been released from the Barry County jail less than two weeks after allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old at his home outside of Cassville.
Barry County sheriff's deputies had also been looking for Mason's 16-year-old son, but he turned himself into Pineville authorities on Friday. In juvenile court, Mason's son will face an assault charge in relation to the alleged attack on Tyler Pendergraft, 17, at a home on Farm Road 1195.
Mason, 42, is facing felony charges of first degree-assault causing serious physical injury, a class A felony, armed criminal action, an unclassified felony, and first-degree property damage, a class D felony.
Mick Epperly, Barry County sheriff, said Mason posted the $250,000 bond after a bond-reduction hearing kept the amount the same.
Epperly said Mason's son was released to his attorney, had an initial hearing on Feb. 18 and has been placed with someone.
On Feb. 9, Mason allegedly lifted the rear of a truck, being driven by Pendergraft, with a skid loader at a residence on Farm Road 1195 near Cassville, according to a probable cause statement from Barry County Deputy Michael Moore. Mason then allegedly beat Pendergraft with an axe handle, breaking both of his legs and his nose. Moore said in the statement that Pendergraft believed Mason was going to kill him, as Mason allegedly said he was going to bury Pendergraft.
After driving himself 15 miles into town, an ambulance transported Pendergraft to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, where he had emergency surgery on his right leg. Epperly said he now has a metal rod in that leg.
Mason claimed Pendergraft had been stealing diesel fuel from him, and Epperly said if Pendergraft had been the fuel, Mason should have contacted the Sheriff's Office.
Epperly said Mason claims to have a game camera containing footage of Pendergraft stealing the fuel, but has not supplied the camera to authorities, nor told them where it may be found.
Mason is set for a preliminary hearing on May 13 at 11 a.m. He is represented by Neosho Attorney Charles R. Rhoades.