Chardon: Transgender homicide suspect appeared in court Wednesday

7:06 AM, Oct 17, 2008   |    comments
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 Mason, 41, was arrested and charged Friday with reckless homicide in the June death of her husband, 73-year-old James Mason.

Fuhry appointed attorney Robert Umholtz as a public defender to represent her and then assigned the case to be heard by Judge Forrest Burt.

Christine Mason is a woman who was born a man in Kentucky in 1967. She underwent a gender-reassignment sex change operation in 1993.

Police arrived on the scene June 2 to find James Mason lying unconscious on the edge of the pool and he died of a heart attack the next day.

Christine and James Mason married in August, 2006. Ohio law does not allow people to change the gender on their birth certificate but Kentucky does and that's what Christine Mason did.

Having changed her gender on her Kentucky birth certificate, the marriage was legal in Ohio because the birth certificate she presented to obtain a marriage license in Ohio stated that she was female, police said.

Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce said surveillance video taken at the pool at the Middlefield Village Apartments shows the couple in the pool on June 2.

Prosecutors and Middlefield police learned that James Mason had a deathly fear of the water. Joyce says the video will be used during the trial by his office to convict Christine Mason.

Christine Mason was arrested Friday and charged with reckless homicide. She remains in the Geauga County Jail unable to post the $50,000 cash or surety bond that was set by Fuhry.

Joyce said Tuesday that "It is one of the most disturbing videos I have seen in my career." He said the video lasts over an hour.



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