EATON — Last week, Tyler Smith, of Eaton, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the shooting death of Jerry Mason two years ago.
Smith will have the possibility of being paroled after 25 years, according to his sentence.
On the morning of Friday, May 17, 2013, the then-22-year-old Smith awakened just before 6 a.m. He walked out of his room into the living room where his mother’s boyfriend, Mason, was asleep on the couch, according to Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel.
“Smith walked into Mason’s bedroom, grabbed Mason’s 12-gauge shotgun, loaded it, and returned to the living room,” Votel said in a press release.
Smith then shot Mason at close range in the head while Mason slept, killing him instantly, according to reports.
Smith himself then called 9-1-1 and reported the crime.
In June 2013, Smith was indicted for “aggravated murder,” an unclassified felony.
After nearly three years of preliminary psychological evaluations and pretrial motions, Smith entered a “plea of guilty as charged.”
On Thursday, March 15, Preble County Common Pleas Judge David Abruzzo sentenced Smith to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 25 years of the sentence.
The state was represented throughout the case by Votel, and Smith was represented by attorney Brian Muenchenbach.
“This murder was cold and it was calculated,” Votel said. “The defendant himself admitted that he had been considering killing Jerry Mason for several weeks before the crime, and that he had even contemplated the different methods he might use to kill Mr. Mason.
“Although this defendant did suffer from a number of psychological illnesses at the time of the offense, the psychological evaluations in this case made clear that none of these psychological diagnoses constituted a justification for the murder; in the state’s judgment, they likewise did not constitute mitigation evidence. The state is satisfied with the life sentence and extends its sympathy and that of our community to the family of Mr. Mason.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.