Saturday, January 26, 2008

OWI Parole Violator Released On Friday And Kills Hours Later

Parole violator John Mason appeared in Marion Superior Court Judge Becky Pierson-Treacy's courtroom on Friday according to a court observer I spoke to tonight for failing to comply with terms of probation on a prior arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Mason reportedly failed to complete an alcohol awareness program, provide urine samples and pay court fines imposed against him from his prior OWI conviction and had been jailed. Mason was released after his appearance in court with a public defender instead of being sent back to jail. At 10:30 p.m. last night, a drunken Mason slammed his car into another car at a high rate of speed at 34th & Keystone, killing 52-year-old passenger Teresa Webb and critically injuring the 52-year-old driver of the car, Carolyn Fox. The court observer tells me that the probable cause affidavit indicated that Mason had $1,870 on him at the time of his arrest at the scene for suspected drunk driving.

Some folks are looking for answers as to why Mason was released and why he was represented by a public defender when he clearly had funds available to pay for his own attorney. This is an absolute worst case scenario of the consequences of what happens when our criminal justice system fails to appropriately deal with offenders. I think our Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and Judge Pierson-Treacy are going to face some tough questions in the coming days about this case. What a tragic and sad loss for the family of Teresa Webb. Best wishes to the family of Carolyn Fox. The cause number for the case is 49F19-070-CM-054365.

UPDATE: The Star reports today that Mason was supposed to serve a 30-day sentence for violating the terms of his probation, but the court decided to give Mason until February 1 to begin serving his sentence.


Anonymous said...

Parole violator John Mason appeared in Marion Superior Court Judge Becky Pierson-Treacy's courtroom...I think our Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and Judge Pierson-Treacy are going to face some tough questions in the coming days about this case.

Brizzi is only going to face questions if the deputy prosecutor failed to demand this drunk be sent back to jail. As far as Pierson-Treacy goes, someone needs to pull her records on DUIs. A few officers I know said she seems to be OK when they had their cases go in front of her. If I recall, one officer even said she gave a guy the officer arrested only for public intoxication 30 days in jail. This conflicts with the _rumors_ that she is actually soft on DUIs because some family member was arrested for DUI.

Anonymous said...

The fact the accused had over $1,800 on him show how screwy are PD system is...anyone can get a free lawyer by simply saying they can't afford a lawyer, then, they bitch about how bad of a job he or she did. And, even if there were a better way to screen defendants as to whether of not they could afford an attorney, no one is going to say they have any money when it comes the money comes from illegal sources. Seriously, I have a pretty good income and I couldn't tell you the last time I went walking around with that kind of money in my pocket unless I was going to make a bank deposit. It is also a reason why I stopped taking criminal cases a few years ago. In essence, we have a socialized criminal justice system. The big dope boys hire private counsel when they can because they know the consequences are high stakes. With the lower class felonies and misdemeanors, one never needs to hire a lawyer because they get one for free. It's tragic. I'm not a big fan of Judge Treacey or of Brizzi, but, with the case loads, this things happen. It isn't pretty when it does, and, things might change for a while, but in the long run, things always stay the same.

Anonymous said...

sounds like this judge needs to go!!!

Anonymous said...

It figures that the liberal wife of former Democratic Pary chairman let a drunk driver who any other judge would lock up for violations of his release...just walk out of the courtroom to get drunk and kill!

Anonymous said...

Brizzi and Judge P-T may get the tough questions, but doesn't the issue still largely boil down to jail overcrowding and years of unwillingness by the CCC to prioritize it in the interest of keeping our public safe?

Grover said...

If you can't find Brizzi, it's because he's hiding under a rock (or prostitute) until another family is murdered and the community becomes enraged.

Chris said...

This is a terrible and tragic story.

Anonymous said...

Alcoholics crave alcohol. Until
they're forced to take a medication
(even 1970s antibuse) they keep drinking, unless by some miracle
their AA classes might work.

When this guy makes bail again,
he'll (1) get wasted again; (2)
find someone else's vehicle to
drive again.

Judges are way too naive, with
their cookie cutter mindset.
Judges mistakenly assume that everyone can be rehabilitated
and that everyone is entitled
to perfect due process.

I guarantee you Judges don't lose
any sleep over their own screw-ups.
She's far more worried about her reputation that she might get reversed on an appeal in some case than the mischief that her rulings
end up resulting in.

Anonymous said...

I hope he didn't get drunk at Brizzi's Bar and Restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Carl Brizzi is a joke as a prosecutor and everyone knows that judges in marion county are selected based upon politics, and only politics. Qualifications and integrity are not even considered. You might also thank our idiot sheriff, Frank Anderson and "Former Mayor" Bart Peterson for this death. The are the incompetent fools who decided to release prisoners from jail to solve the over crowding problem. I am sure that Carl Brizzi would rather receive a naked lap dance from a hooker than to actually do his job. Another Greg Ballard Handler!

Anonymous said...

I just read the story and believe I know who the driver was. I hope she is OK.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true. Public Defenders at TaxPayer Expense and bleeding heart liberal judges who never met a defendant that they couldn't wait to set free no matter what the crime.

Judge Becky Pierson-Treacy in particular is problematic in her "decisions" but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Someone needs to be watching the everyday activities of these "judges" and monitoring their courtrooms.

PD's are handed out to almost everyone at TaxPayer Expense.

These Judges, Prosecutors and the Public Defender's Office need to be held accountable.

DavidM said...

My question here is why blame Brizzi? He can object all he wants but in the end its up to the judge in this case. I have seen this many times when the prosecutors office has objected many times just to see the guy walk out the door.

Anonymous said...

Drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a car is NO different from someone pulling the trigger of a loaded gun. They both make a choice. This guy KILLED someone. Do you think he 'gets' it or cares??? No. Throw him in jail and throw away the key.

Anonymous said...

You cant blame Peterson for the jail overcrowding ...that had been going on for 30 years under republican mayors and the federal court order enforcing the number of inmates was in force years before Peterson was take off your Republican glasses and admit that it was the fault of your GOP

Anonymous said...

You cant blame Peterson for the jail overcrowding...

Peterson had no problem raising various taxes for a private business building: Lucas Oil Stadium. Instead of raising those taxes to help build a new non-Taj Mahal, functional, massive jail, we have chosen "FUTBAW!"

Anonymous said...

DavidM said it right-the blame is all Treacy's. This guy had already been CONVICTED, probation and violations of probation become the judge's decision. The prosecutor can object, but most of the time, the judges get upset if the prosecutor pipes up. Smart deputy prosecutors learn quickly to keep thier mouths shut except for the most egregious matters, knowing the Judge will be more likely to listen if they object sparingly.

You might recall a few years ago Judge Treacy made the paper for refusing to grant a continuence when an officer had been seriously injured in the line of duty the day before. There just happened to be a reporter in court that day on a different matter, and unbeknownst to her, he was taking notes the whole time. She changed her act for quite some time after that, but her old self came back eventually.

Judge Treacy is notorious for her hostility to Prosecutors. She also believes that police officers should just expect to be battered "as part of the job" and will rarely convict for resisting law enforcement. She will also rarely convict for battery, since she will always look for some excuse to find the victim at fault.

I can't remember who the judge was, but Treacy used to be his commissioner, and he wouldn't let her preside over a jury trial-SINCE SHE HAD NO JURY EXPERIENCE AS AN ATTORNEY. This coming from a person who worked for some time in the Prosecutors Office.

The stories coming out of her time in the Prosecutor's Office make it clear her husband is the only reason she has a robe. She was actually head of Grand Jury, and it took years to clean up the mess she left there. Things have deteriorated again, but that is a different story.

Anonymous said...

I think its unfair to blame the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, sheriff, mayor, or anyone else for this idiot's actions. He is the person to blame here...he got behind the wheel of the car and drove drunk. Yes, ideally he would have been locked up on this ocassion and avoided killing someone this day. However, he would've taken the same action on a different day.

Its not uncommon for similarly situated people to report to jail on a specified date. Far more often than not, nothing tragic happens when this is allowed. The judge and prosecutor could not have known he would kill someone, even though they recognized it was a possibility.

I am no Judge Pierson-Treacy fan. Having appeared before her as a defense attorney, I find her to be rude to all attorneys that appear in front of her (unless they are one of her cronies) and fairly uninformed on the law. However, I cannot and will not blame her for the reckless actions of another person.

I do feel sorry for the families involved, but let's not misplace the blame.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:22 the political will and votes were not there for a new jail..blame the council since you are in the blame game