, Corbin, KY

July 18, 2013

Stepfather death case has trial date set, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A man facing charges in the death of his former stepfather has had a trial date set — again.

Keith Edward Mason, 42, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., appeared before Judge Paul K. Winchester in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday.

During that brief court appearance, Winchester set Mason’s trial for Oct. 1.

Mason is accused in the January 2012 shooting death of his stepfather, 60-year-old Robert W. Vanover, of Corbin.

A trial date was originally set for July 31 in February — but it was unclear in court Monday what delayed the trial.

Mason faces one second-degree manslaughter charge in Vanover’s death.

In February, there had been some discussion in court concerning toxicology results and final autopsy reports, but little else occurred during that appearance.

Mason remains free on a $1 million cash bond.

According to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell, on the day of the shooting, the two men were on Ayers Road in southwest Whitley County.

Mason told deputies he was looking at property on that road when Vanover drove by.

Vanover allegedly returned to the scene, got out of his vehicle and asked Mason to leave, according to what was told to deputies.

Mason then alleged Vanover struck him, prompting Mason to shoot Vanover three times with a pistol.

The victim was shot in the face, chest and abdomen and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley said the preliminary manner of death was ruled a homicide, and the preliminary cause of death was the gunshot wound to the chest.

Harrell said Mason left Vanover on the road and drove until he got a cell phone signal. He called and told 911 dispatchers he had shot someone and he believed the person was dead.