A fugitive wanted in relation to a four-decade old Custer County murder case has been arrested in Texas and extradited to Idaho.
An Eastland County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office employee told the Post Register that Walter James Mason was arrested there Oct. 10. Mason, who is in his late 80s, is reportedly in poor health. Mason was living in central Texas under the alias Walter James Allison, a Custer County Sheriff’s Office news release said. His identity was confirmed by fingerprints at the time of his arrest.
The Eastland County Sheriff’s Office employee said Mason initially refused to sign an extradition waiver for several days before finally signing the document.
Custer County Sheriff’s deputies traveled to Texas last week to transport Mason back to face first-degree murder charges.
On Sept. 22, 1980, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers responded to a call from Clayton, Idaho, reporting that two men had been shot and that the suspect in the shooting, Mason, was at large in the area. Upon arrival the law enforcement officers found Daniel Mason Woolley dead in the Sports Club bar parking lot. Woolley had been shot in the head. Another male bar patron had been shot in the shoulder and a woman had suffered a blunt force injury to her face, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office news release said.
Mason had been working in the Clayton area at the time of the shooting.
Mason is being held outside Custer County in a secure detention facility. He has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder. Public defense attorney Dave Cannon has been appointed to represent Mason.