PROVO — A hearing has been scheduled next week to determine if two expert witnesses brought forward by defense attorneys for a Payson man accused of gunning down his ex-wife are qualified to testify.
The motion was made by Deputy Utah County Attorney Curtis Larson, asking the court to determine if a defense psychologist and a chemist are qualified enough to testify regarding the case.
Mason is charged in the Nov. 29, 2001, slaying for his ex-wife Stacy Mason. Police allege that Mason, distraught over his wife leaving him, went to her parents' Spanish Fork home, where she was staying with her children, and confronted her.
Mason's 11-year-old daughter testified during a preliminary hearing earlier this year that she saw her father get his shotgun from his truck and fire rounds into the front door. Once he was in the home, the girl said she then heard several gunshot blasts. At the time of the shooting, Stacy Mason was on the phone to 911. When police arrived, they found her severely wounded. She later died at a local hospital.
Mason was later arrested after a police search team located him an in a nearby field. Mason is charged with first-degree murder and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony. He also faces one misdemeanor count of assault, for allegedly assaulting his daughter during the incident.
Mason's trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 22. Judge Anthony Schofield set a hearing for oral arguments for Jan 14 to determine the qualifications of the defense's expert witnesses.
Utah County public defense attorney Christine Johnson says her witnesses are indeed qualified to testify at trial.