By John L. Ross
A man jailed more than a year ago after his arrest in connection with the shooting death of his former stepfather now has a trial date.
Keith Edward Mason, 41, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., appeared before Judge Paul K. Winchester in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday.
Mason faces a second-degree manslaughter charge in the death of Robert W. Vanover, 60, of Corbin.
Mason, on a cane, stood before Winchester with his attorney. Some discussion took place concerning toxicology reports and final autopsy reports, but little else occurred during Mason’s appearance.
His trial date is scheduled for July 31. He has a final pretrial date set for July 23.
Mason is currently out on bond.
According to 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 returned to the scene, got out of his vehicle and asked Mason to leave, according to what was told to deputies.
Mason alleges 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 dispatch he had shot someone and he believed the person was dead.