Kingfield man sent to prison

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FARMINGTON – A Kingfield man who was convicted by jury on a charge of aggravated criminal trespass was sentenced to serve one year of a four-year sentence in a state prison with two years probation.

Jason Masterson, 32, was found guilty June 28 of the felony charge in what Assistant District Attorney James Andrews called a home invasion at 2 a.m. in Salem Township this year and an assault on someone there. He was also convicted of misdemeanor charges of assault and harassment by telephone.

Andrews said Masterson was intoxicated and angry at the time.

Masterson, who has been in custody since his conviction, appeared Friday in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington for sentencing.

Andrews outlined Masterson’s record of 11 convictions since 1993, with several connected to alcohol and drug abuse. They included operating under the influence and domestic assault.

Among them was an incident in 2005 when a witness claimed Masterson was smashing a woman’s head on the steering wheel when the two were in a vehicle, Andrews said. Masterson was convicted in that case with the court warning him at the time that he was heading down a very serious road, Andrews said.

“Eventually someone’s going to get hurt. It may be Jason. It may be a victim. It may be some innocent bystander,” Andrews said.

His behavior is escalating, Andrews said, with substance abuse and obsessive, controlling behavior toward women for more than 10 years.

People say that when he’s sober, they enjoy his company, he said. When he’s drinking, he’s a monster, who gets motivated by jealousy and substance abuse, Andrews added.

Andrews recommended three years in prison with all but one year suspended with two years probation.

Masterson’s attorney, Charles Ferris, disagreed with some of Andrews’ assessment of the situation except that his client has a problem with alcohol and anger.

“Jason, when he’s sober, is wonderful to deal with. He comes from a wonderful family… What’s he’s been missing is some treatment for alcohol abuse and anger management.”

People testifying for Masterson’s behalf commented that he got hooked up with a bad girl; he needs help; he is very loving with his son; he was a supportive companion; and there is hope for him.

“I think Jason finally got it,” Ferris said of his previous 130 days in jail before the trial and after. “I know Jason is taking it seriously.”

He suggested a sentence range of 90 days to the county jail with several years of probation and anger management and alcohol and drug counseling.

“I ask the court to give him one last chance by going into counseling,” Ferris said.

Alcohol counseling was a condition in 2001 and 2006 cases, and he did not complete batterers’ abuse prevention counseling, Andrews said.

“The carrot and stick procedure we have been using is not working,” Andrews said.

“I think he has run out of chances as far as the court goes,” Justice Joseph Jabar said. “You really have a serious alcoholic problem and you need to learn to deal with it.”

Besides the prison sentence and probation, substance abuse counseling, in-house rehabilitation and completion of a certified batters intervention program, Jabar sentenced Masterson to six months for the assault charge and $300 fine, and 60 days on the harassment charge, both to run concurrent with felony sentence.

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