Mason Charged in Fatal Staunton Shooting - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Mason Charged in Fatal Staunton Shooting

Posted: Updated: Dec 1, 2008 11:35 PM EST

Police have charged a Stuarts Draft man with murder after his former girlfriend was found shot to death in the middle of a Staunton street Sunday afternoon.

John Michael Mason, 27, faces first-degree murder charges for the death of 20-year-old Amanda Kaye Bush of Stuarts Draft.

Bush was found dead shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday 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.

"My understanding was that she was visiting a family at the time the argument took place. Some sort of argument must have taken place in the street, and that's where she was shot," said Lisa Klein with the Staunton Police Department.

Eight hours later, police arrested Mason after he crashed his rental car in Carroll County, near the North Carolina border. Virginia State Police claim he was disoriented and legally drunk at the time. They also say he was armed and tried to reach for his gun when he was arrested.

"They actually ended up wrestling on the ground. One of the wrecker drivers came by and helped the trooper in taking Mr. Mason into custody, and then later it was discovered that Mr. Mason had a gun," state police Sgt. Michael Conroy said.

Mason has a long criminal history, from eluding police and hit-and-run to convictions in Staunton and Augusta County for carnal knowledge with a child. The state trooper knew none of that when he tried to arrest Mason Sunday.

Mason is being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail on three charges, including DUI and resisting arrest. There's no word yet on when he'll be brought back to Staunton to face the murder charge.

Reported by Keith McGilvery
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