John Michael Mason, 27, faces murder charges for the death of 20-year-old Amanda Kaye Bush of Stuarts Draft in November 2008. His trial started in Staunton Circuit Court Thursday morning. The trial is expected to last two days and Mason faces a possible life sentence.
Bush was found dead shortly before in the 2700 block of Knollwood Drive in the Hillcrest subdivision. Neighbors tell us she was working as a babysitter for a family that lived on Knollwood Drive.
Police caught Mason after a chase near the Virginia-North Carolina border after crashing his car and scuffling with a state trooper.
Mason is charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm in a felony. The defense admits that Mason was still armed with the handgun that was reportedly used to kill Bush last November.
A key witness in the murder case was an 11-year-old boy. He says he watched and listened as his live-in nanny argued with Mason. The boy says he heard a bang and saw Mason drive away, leaving the victim in the street and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head.
Expert witnesses testified that blood found on Mason's jeans and in his car matched the victim's blood. The defense told the jury Thursday morning that they don't dispute many of the facts fo the cast, but argued that Mason is not guilty of premeditated murder.