ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman has been sentenced to 23 years in prison in the death of her husband whom the defense alleged she stayed with despite the relationship being abusive in part because both of them were struggling with their gender identity.
Angela Mason, 49, of St. Joseph, was sentenced Monday for voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the March 2017 death of her husband, Jeffrey Mason, 50. Jurors in December chose not to convict her of second-degree murder.
Mason testified that when her husband dressed as a woman, he would take on a female persona known as Becky, and she would take on the persona of a male named Eric. Mason said that when her husband was unable to dress as a woman for long periods of time, he would become agitated, and at the time of the shooting, it had been five months since he was able to dress as a woman.
Prosecuting Attorney Ron Holliday said at trial that it was a “disgrace” that Angela Mason used the battered woman defense. He said Mason had planned the death, sending texts to make it seem like they were arguing.
Mason’s defense attorney asked that she be allowed to serve the 13-year sentence for manslaughter at the same time as the 10-year sentence for armed criminal action. The judge rejected the request in ordering her to serve them back-to-back.
The attorney further stated his client was “not a criminal mastermind” but “a survivor.”