A woman who broke into a home and attacked an elderly couple in their bedroom with a curling iron has been found guilty on all charges following a two-day jury trial.
Savannah Lynn Mason, 32, was found guilty Thursday after about 15 minutes of deliberation from the eight-woman, four-man jury.
Mason was found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, attempted aggravated burglary, aggravated criminal trespass, aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated elder abuse, and two counts of aggravated elder abuse with a deadly weapon.
Judge Bart Stanley scheduled her sentencing for Dec. 15.
Mason broke into the Morrison home of Wilmus and Wanda Bouldin on the night of Feb. 24, 2020 and attacked the couple with a curling iron she found in their bathroom. The couple had just laid down to go to bed minutes earlier.
“I heard my wife say ‘Who are you and how did you get in here?’” said Wilmus Bouldin, 81, in his testimony Thursday morning. “Then she whopped my wife right on her head.”
Wilmus testified that he was able to grab Mason by her arm and that’s when she wheeled around and started to hit him with the curling iron.
“It was all to the head and one to the shoulder,” said Wilmus. “I was able to get my hand on the cord and I jerked it out of her hand. I grabbed her arms and Wanda was able to get her from behind. She got her arm around her neck and started choking her. After that she went limp and didn’t fight us no more. She started crying and begged us to call her mother.”
Law enforcement officials arrived on the scene and Mason was arrested.
Mason was in the Morrison area that night visiting the home of Landon McCormick, a neighbor of the Bouldins. McCormick testified that he had known Mason for years and she had texted him earlier in the day and asked if they could get together.
According to his testimony, McCormick picked her up and then took her to a liquor store where Mason bought a bottle of Jack Daniels. He then went to a laundromat and did a load of clothes while Mason sat in his truck drinking.
McCormick testified they then went to his home in the Morrison area and both of them were drinking when Mason appeared to become very intoxicated. He made her a sandwich in hopes of preventing her from getting sick and she reportedly took one bite. Mason then balled up the sandwich like a piece of paper and threw it.
Mason then reportedly made a statement along the lines of “I know what you’re trying to do” and she grabbed a long knife and cut McCormick in the neck. He was able to wrestle the knife away from her.
“He’s not attacked her and he’s not threatened her,” said prosecutor Felicia Walkup. “He’s not done anything to cause her harm when she arms herself and comes after him with a knife.”
Mason then ran out of the house bare-footed and went to the nearby home of Stephanie Bess who testified she was home alone when Mason began pounding on the door to get in. Mason threw a flower pot and smashed a window on the door in an attempt to gain entry, but she never entered the Bess home.
The Bouldin home is just a short distance away and Mason was able to gain entry there by breaking through a door in the utility room. Once inside, she went into a bathroom where she armed herself with a curling iron before proceeding to the Bouldin bedroom on what was their anniversary night.
Defense attorney James Hargis of Sparta addressed the jury in his closing argument and admitted some aspects of the case are concerning. But he tried to suggest something may have happened at the McCormick residence for his client to grab a knife and begin her three-home rampage.
“She went there willingly, but she left there drunk and barefoot,” said Hargis. “I submit to you Savannah Mason did not intend to commit a felony. She went looking for help. What we have is a young lady out in the country without a car in February and she’s looking for help in a sports bra and her bare feet.”
Hargis ended by saying, “I ask you to look at the entire story and make sure you’re using every piece of evidence. She was scared and she was trying to find help.”
In her final statement to the jury, Walkup said the defense was trying to play the blame game and find someone else at fault for Mason’s actions.
“Who can I blame?” Walkup asked the jury. “I can’t blame the Bouldins and I can’t blame Mrs. Bess so let me throw it out there that Landon McCormick must be the bad guy. The notion of Mr. McCormick being some type of predator is insulting. And we’re not talking about a 10-year-old girl here. She’s 32.”
Judge Stanley ruled Mason can remain free on bond until her sentencing Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.