Eastland County resident arrested for 1980 murder in Idaho

Crime

EASTLAND COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Eastland County resident has been arrested for a 1980 murder in Idaho.

85-year-old Walter James Mason, who also uses the surname Allison, was arrested at a farm on CR 375 in Rising Star at the beginning of October for a murder warrant issued out of Custer County, Idaho. 

Mason is accused of shooting and killing Daniel Woolley, 52, at a sports bar on September 22, 1980 because Woolley was drinking at the bar with Mason’s live-in girlfriend. 

Law enforcement then lost track of Mason, who was a guide and rancher at a river in the area, for nearly 40 years.

He lived on the small farm in Rising Star for 25 years before his arrest. 

The Eastland County Sheriff’s Office says Mason told investigators what he did to Woolley, claiming the shooting was out of self-defense because he feared Woolley was going to beat him to death. 

Mason was arrested with the help of the Texas Rangers and has since been extradited to Idaho to face prosecution for the crime. 

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