A Hernando County jury declined to sentence a Brooksville man to death for the three murders for which he was convicted in June.
George Mason III will likely be given a life sentence in November after the jury deliberated on a sentence of death by lethal injection for approximately an hour last Tuesday. Deliberations came after over a week of testimony from both defense attorneys and county prosecutors on the issue.
According to prosecutors, Mason gunned down his half-brother Ralph Peyton in late August 2014. Upon killing Peyton, investigators say Mason proceeded into his mother’s room and shot her in the face, mortally wounding her.
Investigators say Mason then exited the home and approached his girlfriend Tarasha Townsend, shooting to death the mother of his two children as well. He continued by chasing his half brother Gabriel Taylor along the street, ultimately delivering a serious but non-lethal gunshot wound to him as well. Mason was ultimately stopped when a light pick-up truck struck him, rendering him incapacitated but still alive.
The state called to the stand several friends and relatives of the trio of the deceased to deliver victim-impact statements, including Ralph Peyton’s mother, who stated that his funeral was a closed-casket affair due to the severity and nature of his injuries. The surviving victim told the court that he suffers the loss of each of his family members continually, and that the episode left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The defense countered by putting forth evidence pointing to a brain disease that impaired his impulse control. According to one defense witness, the disease may be multiple sclerosis, likening Mason’s brain to Swiss cheese.
Mason will remain in the Hernando County Jail until his sentencing by a state judge on November 11.