Mason City man convicted of manslaughter in Illinois denied bid for new trial judge

OTTAWA, ILLINOIS — A Mason City man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Illinois has had his bid for a new trial judge denied.

44-year-old Mason Shannon was charged along with 22-year-old Joseph Brewer in the death of Michael Castelli. Shannon and Brewer were accused of putting Castelli in a choke hold during a fight on July 20th of 2017 on the grounds of a commercial plant grower just northeast of Ottawa Illinois.

During a bench trial, Judge Chris Ryan found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but before Shannon was to be sentenced in January, his lawyer learned of a potential conflict of interest with the court reporter being the wife of Shannon’s trial judge. Shannon’s defense team argued that violated ethical codes and demanded that he be assigned a new judge.

The News Tribune of LaSalle reports that the request for a new judge was denied by a visiting judge from another county, adding that the judge found no prejudice or bias against Shannon during the trial. Shannon could still ask for a new trial.

When sentenced, Shannon faces between two to five years in prison.


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