/ Articles / Mason bench trial upcoming in murder weapon-related burglary

Mason bench trial upcoming in murder weapon-related burglary

October 25, 2019 by Abigail Bostwick

There was no resolution for a Lac du Flambeau man housed in Oneida County Jail after being accused of involvement in a burglary which included a gun later used to murder a man, and also later accused of battering another jail inmate thereafter. 

Dayna Mason, 29, was in Oneida County Circuit Court before Judge Michael Bloom earlier this month on charges of felony battery and bail jumping. The charges came after Mason was allegedly observed on jail video approaching inmate and punching and kicking him several times. 

In court, prosecutor Mary Sowinski noted there was no resolution yet in the battery case. She also moved for the felony bail jumping charge to be dismissed as it “… should not have been filed.” Public defender for Mason, Richard Shawl, did not object. That motion was granted. 

Meanwhile on the burglary charges, a bench trial is set for Dec. 10 and 11. Special state prosecutors state assistant general attorneys Richard Dufour and Chad Verbeten are representing the state. 

There, Mason will answer to felony charges of burglary with a dangerous weapon, theft of special facts and possess a firearm as a felon — all with party to a crime and habitual offender enhancers. 

The Lake Tomahawk burglary occurred in December 2017. Stolen were a video game console, video games, a shotgun, rifle, .22 pistol, various ammunition and a 9 mm semi-automatic gun. That gun was later used by Richard Allen, 29, and Joseph Lussier, 28, both of Lac du Flambeau, in the homicide of Wayne Valliere, Jr., that involved three other men in Iron County. Allen and Lussier were convicted of murder and sent to life in prison. 

A bench trial takes place in front of a judge, no jury. The judge acts as both the finder of fact and ruler on matters of law and decides the case based on evidence. Bench trials tend to take less time than a jury, with a speedier resolution.

Also charged in the burglary with similar charges were Joseph Cloud, 25, formerly of Lac du Flambeau and now housed at Green Bay Correctional; Allen, 29, now of Boscubel Prison; and Buddy Maurice Big John, 22, Wittenberg, now in Oneida County Jail. Cloud pled guilty to burglary with a dangerous weapon and the remaining charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to two years prison and three years extended supervision. Big John has further court dates in December. Charges against Allen in the burglary were dismissed after his murder conviction. 

 

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