Memphis man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge before trial


Rodricus Mason. Photo: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man was sentenced to 18 years behind bars after agreeing to take a plea deal the day his case went to trial.

Rodricus Mason was scheduled to go to trial on Monday, but decided to enter a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun charges. He’ll serve 10 years for the first charge followed by eight years for the second, court records show.

According to the police report, Mason exchanged words with 23-year-old Roan Gardner Junior in a parking lot in the 2700 block of Kimball Avenue on July 1, 2016. It’s unclear what the argument was about, but Mason reportedly pulled out a gun and shot Gardner.

He was later pronounced deceased by paramedics.

During the investigation, several witnesses identified Mason as the person responsible. He was able to evade police until March 2017 when he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and the Memphis Police Department.

He was initially charged with murder but that charge was downgraded to manslaughter when he took the plea.

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