According to court documents Lenwood Mason would be arrested for assaulting Iona Jeffries. When he was released from jail Mason would fatally stab Iona Jeffries
Lenwood Mason would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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Parole Number: 8113S
Date of Birth: 03/21/1965
Height: 5′ 07″
Current Location: PHOENIX
Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: PHILADELPHIA
Lenwood Mason Case
Viewed under these standards, the record below establishes that on March 31, 1994, police were called to the 3800 block of Clearfield Street in Philadelphia. Officer Terry Brown observed Lenwood Mason walking on Clearfield Street, with Iona Jeffries close to his side. Noting a frightened look on Ms. Jeffries’ face, the officer approached her and asked if she was all right. The officer noticed bruises on Ms. Jeffries’ forehead, shoulder, neck and mouth. Although Appellant told the officer that Ms. Jeffries had been attacked by several other women, Ms. Jeffries informed the officer that Appellant had actually caused her injuries. Ms. Jeffries explained to the officer that she was reluctant to press charges against Appellant, as she feared he would kill her. Based on his own observations and Ms. Jeffries’ statements, however, the officer placed Appellant under arrest.
Approximately three months later, on the evening of June 18, 1994, Ms. Jeffries was at a bar, Cadillac Slim’s, with Lenwood Mason and several of her friends. Appellant had been released from prison two days earlier, on June 16, 1994. When Ms. Jeffries and her friends decided to leave Cadillac Slim’s and go to another club, Ms. Jeffries asked that a male acquaintance drive Appellant home, as she did not want him to accompany her to the club. Upset by Ms. Jeffries’ plans to exclude him, Appellant yelled, “You want it like that?” and ran out of the bar.
At approximately 9:30 the following morning, Ms. Jeffries’ mother, Mrs. Wisteria Jeffries, was at her home when she heard Appellant banging on the door. As Wisteria Jeffries approached the door, she saw Appellant’s hand protruding through the screen door. When Wisteria Jeffries asked Appellant what he wanted, he replied that he needed to speak with Ms. Jeffries. Wisteria Jeffries explained that Ms. Jeffries was asleep. After Appellant insisted that he speak with Ms. Jeffries, Wisteria Jeffries told Appellant to wait outside while she got Ms. Jeffries. She locked the door and went upstairs to Ms. Jeffries’ room, where Ms. Jeffries was sleeping on a bed with her then three year-old son, Anthony. Ms. Jeffries refused to come downstairs. Wisteria Jeffries returned to the front door and told Appellant that Ms. Jeffries was sleeping and that he would have to wait to speak with her. Appellant then forced his way into the house, pushed past Wisteria Jeffries, and ran up the stairs. Wisteria Jeffries immediately called the police.
Wisteria Jeffries retrieved a knife from the kitchen and began to head upstairs, when she saw Appellant descending the steps. Lenwood Mason stated to Wisteria Jeffries, “I got her now.” At that point, Wisteria Jeffries attempted to stab Lenwood Mason, but he pushed her aside and ran outside, where a neighbor, Greg Bell, saw Appellant placing what appeared to be a knife into the waistband of his pants. Wisteria Jeffries ran upstairs to Ms. Jeffries’ bedroom and found Ms. Jeffries bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds. Police and rescue units arrived and Ms. Jeffries was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Later that same day, Appellant surrendered to the police and was charged with murder in the first degree, burglary and possessing an instrument of crime.
At Appellant’s trial, Dr. Haresh G. Mirchandani, the chief medical examiner for Philadelphia County, testified that the cause of Ms. Jeffries’ death had been multiple (eighteen) knife wounds to the body. According to Dr. Mirchandani, Ms. Jeffries had suffered knife wounds to her head, neck, chest, back, abdomen, arm, groin and leg. Ms. Jeffries’ son, who was four years old at the time of the trial, testified that he was on the bed with his mother when Appellant entered the bedroom and stabbed his mother with a knife.
Appellant testified on his own behalf, claiming that he had been drinking and doing drugs, including PCP for the first time, at the bar on the night before the murder. He testified that after he smoked the PCP, everything went blurry and that he did not recall leaving Cadillac Slim’s or going to Ms. Jeffries’ house on the morning of her murder. He further maintained that he did not regain his senses again until late in the evening on the day of the murder, when he was already in jail. Appellant’s mother and brother also testified in Appellant’s defense. Essentially, they claimed that when they saw Appellant on the day of the murder, he was under the influence of drugs and that his condition was unlike any “high” that they had ever seen him experience.