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Man convicted in witness retaliation shooting case

October 31, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.  -- A 21-year-old Falling Waters, W.Va. man was convicted in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg of attempting to kill a witness who testified in a previous proceeding, U.S. Attorney Sharon L. Potter's office said this week. 

Matthew Quinn Mason, also known as "Q," was convicted of conspiring with co-defendant Travis Jackson Latta, to attempt to kill a person known to the grand jury with the intent of retaliating against the person; attempting to kill a person known to the grand jury with the intent of retaliating against the person; and discharging a firearm at an individual while he drove his vehicle on April 30, 2008, and causing damage to his property, with the intent of retaliating against that person.

Mason faces up to 30 years in prison on the counts of conspiracy and attempting to kill and up to  20 years for property damage in retaliation of testimony, Potter's office said in a news release.

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Latta already had pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to kill a person in retaliation against the person and is has not yet been sentenced.   

The witness targeted in April 2008 by Latta and Mason had testified in an August 2007 drug trial and was followed home from work to a Martin's Landing apartment complex where shots were fired at the vehicle he was driving.

Latta used a 9 mm HiPoint pistol to shoot at the witness from the car Mason was driving, Potter's office said of evidence presented during the trial. The victim was not injured but bullets lodged within the passenger seats of the van and in the tire. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erin K. Reisenweber and Thomas O. Mucklow and investigated by the Martinsburg Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, and the West Virginia State Police.

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