, Corbin, KY

March 27, 2014

Jury trial for shooting death continued

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Continued — that’s the main word concerning a jury trial that was slated for Wednesday in Whitley County Circuit Court.

Keith Edward Mason, 42, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., was scheduled for a jury trial in the January 2012 shooting death of Corbin resident Robert W. Vanover, 60, former stepfather to Mason.

However, according to the circuit clerk’s office, that trial has now been rescheduled for April 30 — and it’s expected to actually happen on that day.

During a court appearance last fall, Judge Paul Winchester set Mason’s trial for Oct. 1.

That was after a trial date was originally set for July 31, 2013 — but it was unclear in court at that time what delayed the trial.

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

In February 2013, 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, Harrell said.

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, the sheriff said.

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.