Walter_James_Mason

Mason

Magistrate Judge James Barrett has ordered a second evaluation of the mental state of murder defendant Walter James Mason.

Custer County Prosecutor Justin Oleson introduced a motion for Mason to undergo a second examination by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The decision came after a previous evaluation found Mason, 86, was not likely to become mentally fit to contribute to his own defense.

Mason was arrested in October, nearly 40 years after he reportedly shot and killed Daniel Woolley at the Sports Club Bar in Clayton. He was located in Rising Star, Texas, where he had been living under an assumed name for 25 years until his stepdaughter learned online he was wanted for murder.

Mason's health was so poor when he was arrested, the Eastland County Sheriff's Office warned Custer County deputies to be careful transporting him. He has spent two months at State Hospital South in Blackfoot. Doctors concluded his condition was unlikely to improve.

"(T)he court hereby finds that the Defendant is not fit to proceed and there is not a substantial probability that the Defendant will become fit to proceed in the foreseeable future," the order terminating Mason's commitment in January stated.

If Mason is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a life sentence.