Sheriff's investigators talk about Mason's criminal past - - The News for South Mississippi

Sheriff's investigators talk about Mason's criminal past

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Melvin Patrick Mason Melvin Patrick Mason

Less than 24 hours after a SWAT team stand off in Jackson, Melvin Mason is back behind bars in South Mississippi. The accused sex offender faces multiple charges in Hancock County, including sexual battery and touching a child for lustful purposes.

Melvin Patrick Mason's disappearance was no Houdini act. Officials believe he simply walked out of the Hancock County Courthouse, which was packed Monday.

"After he had departed from the courthouse after being ordered by the judge to submit to a urinalysis, once he left it was clear and evident that he was not going to voluntary return," said Hancock County Investigator John Luther.

Mason was in court for an arraignment on the molestation charges. He'd been out on bond, so he was able to come and go without guards.

"He has been indicted on three [counts] of sexual battery and four counts of unlawful touching of a child," said Investigator John Luther.

By Thursday, authorities say Mason was at his girlfriend's house in Jackson. That's where they say he barricaded himself inside and a standoff began.

"The standoff took some time; I think it started around midday and lasted into the early evening hours," explained Chief Investigator Grannan.

A SWAT team and other law enforcers spent hours talking with Mason. He finally surrendered after a negotiator assured Mason if he gave up, he wouldn't be harmed. Hancock County authorities say the molestation charges are not the first brought against Mason. He spent time in prison for kidnapping.

"He was in jail and got the early release program," Grannan said. "That happened in 2004. And in 2011, he went in the National database as being wanted for escape."  

Investigator Luther added to the list, "He was arrested in 2002 in Harrison County on the domestic violence charge. Also in 2002, he was arrested for procession of crack cocaine."

Mason now sits in the Hancock County Jail with no possibly of bonding out. Mason will now face those Molestation charges Tuesday. If convicted, he could face life in prison. The judge hearing the case could find Mason in contempt of court for allegedly bolting when he was told to wait for a parole officer to arrive with a drug test kit.

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