Firefighter trial attendee threatens district attorney
September 24, 2012
In an unusual twist, Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy warned attendees at firefighter John Ryan Mason’s trial on Friday that he would not tolerate threats aimed at the prosecuting attorney.
Mason is on trial for an alleged felony assault stemming from a 2011 altercation at Pappy McGregor’s with Jory Brigham, a man Mason said did not approve of his lifestyle.
“I thought he was going to punch me or go after me,” Mason testified. “After he pushed me and grabbed me, I punched him. It was on.”
While on the stand, Mason described the altercation using mixed martial arts terms including “roll out” and “double hook.”
Deputy District Attorney Kristy Imel asked Mason what he meant by the term double hook.
“I don’t know what a double hook is,” Mason responded.
The packed courtroom then erupted in laughs and whispered comments while an audience member allegedly warning Imel to stop asking about martial arts terms.
On Friday, Judge Duffy said he would recommend prosecuting the person who allegedly threatened Imel if he knew who it was.
“This is not a sporting event,” Duffy said. “It is intolerable anyone would do that in a court of law.”
During his cross-examination by Imel, Mason said he did not think of himself as a big muscular person. Imel then asked Judge Duffy if she could show a picture of Mason taken at a 2010 Halloween party to the jury. In the picture Mason is arm wrestling another man with his right arm, while his bare left arm appears very muscular.
Mason’s attorney Chris Casciola argued that showing the picture helped paint his client as a violent person. He said that Judge Duffy’s rulings during the trial had been “unfair.”