Mason posts bond, son turns himself in

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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.

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  • Somebody better try to get the whole story here...becasue I don't imagine they beat him up for nothing. And they should not have....but there have been probably hundreds of people that have contacted Epperly reporting thefts in the past several years that have never heard ANYTHING again from him, so that should not really be classified as a option that would likely end with results. And who are we to believe here.....the statements and claims of a thief....or the person who beat up a thief.....don't really know that we should be printing what the thief claims someone said as if it is probably accurate. Why do we not get the other man's side of this??

    -- Posted by common-tater on Thu, Feb 19, 2015, at 10:13 PM
  • If they had him on camera and could identify him, then there would have been no reason not to go to the authorities and have the kid arrested. 100s of reports have been taken to the authorities with clear cut proof who committed the crime and nothing has been done? I'd like to see that looked in to. Or is it perhaps reports were made of thefts without one scrap of evidence to go forward with. Yes the boy was wrong for stealing fuel, if he in fact was. So now he's left with permanent injuries, and a father and son have a long and costly court battle ahead. Boy they sure taught him a lesson didnt they!

    -- Posted by directors cut on Fri, Feb 20, 2015, at 12:19 AM
  • I feel this should have never happen. Very cruel to do this to anyone.

    -- Posted by Arminda on Fri, Feb 20, 2015, at 1:35 PM
  • Hey Directors cut.....shouldn't put words in peoples' mouths.....nobody said anything about cases having "clear proof" or any other desciptive...but in the past, peoples' property has been found and ended up in somebody elses hands with the owner never getting word of it or their property back. Also, nobody said they should not have gone to the authorities...VERY obviously, they should of....goes without saying. Of course, this should not have ended up this way...no need to make a hero out of the victim either....especially before the whole story is out....about the kid and his running mates who have been known to be involved in thefts around SW Mo. Just a horrible oocurence that should not have happened...the theivery or the beating.

    -- Posted by common-tater on Fri, Feb 20, 2015, at 8:18 PM
  • And of course that is "rumored to be"

    or "allegedly".... to be involved in thefts around SW Mo. "Known" would not be the appropriate word for me...just for those who have personal knowledge.

    -- Posted by common-tater on Fri, Feb 20, 2015, at 10:15 PM
  • That's a pretty serious accusation your making about peoples property. If you have proof of such happenings maybe you should contact the state and feds to investigate. I haven't seen anyone trying to make a hero out of the victim. Nobody needs to make a hero out of the suspect either. A guick call to the press in Fowler, CO might get you better acquainted.

    -- Posted by directors cut on Sat, Feb 21, 2015, at 10:25 AM
  • It is not an accusation....it IS what happened to a man that about everyone in this area knows personally. It would be HIS place to choose whether to follow up with more authorities--not mine. And I have been told you might check facebook to see where some are basically making a hero out of the victim. As far as your insinuation about the suspect, I know nothing about him in any way...but I am not chasing your bait to find out either. Like I said, none of this SHOULD have happened at all.

    -- Posted by common-tater on Sat, Feb 21, 2015, at 9:11 PM
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