St. Martin woman arrested in shooting death of junkyard owner

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A St. Martin woman is now behind bars after being accused of killing an elderly Jackson county junkyard owner back in March.

Eighty-six-year-old Charles Mason was found shot to death inside his home. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said, on Friday, his team arrested 33-year-old Donna Marie Freeman for the crime.

Investigators said they believe money was a major factor in the shooting death.

Freeman woke up Saturday inside the Jackson County Jail. Deputies said they picked her up shortly before midnight from her home then charged her with capital murder.

Byrd said he believes Freeman shot Mason once and killed him. Byrd also said Freeman and Mason were acquaintances for more than a year. Mason owned a junkyard business in the Helena community, until he was robbed and murdered.

What led deputies to Freeman is still unknown because the investigation is ongoing. Investigators admitted, narrowing down a suspect in Mason's death was challenging.

"We had about 40 people that had to be interviewed in reference to this case," Byrd said. "There were a lot of people who knew Charley Mason, and there were a lot of people that didn't like Charley Mason. We had to rule out everyone and DNA was sent to the crime lab and we had to wait for the results to come back."

Pinpointing a suspect brought some relief to Mason's family.

"They broke down, wept two of his sons," Byrd said as he explained the heart wrenching phone call made to Mason's family Saturday morning.

Freeman will remain here in the Jackson County jail over the weekend. Monday she is expected to go before a judge on the capital murder charge.

Capital Murder carries a life sentence or the Death Penalty.

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