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Preliminary hearing for 1980 homicide postponed

Crime Watch

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Walter Mason

CHALLIS — The preliminary hearing for a man detectives say is responsible for a homicide 40 years ago was continued Monday afternoon.

According to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, 86-year-old Walter James Mason is charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly shot two men Sept. 22, 1980, in Clayton, Idaho, and took off. One of them, Daniel Mason Woolley, was left for dead in the parking lot of the Sports Club bar. Mason, who was living under the alias Walter James Allison, was arrested on Oct. 10 in Texas.

RELATED: 86-year-old man arrested in Texas for allegedly killing person nearly 40 years ago in Idaho

His preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for Monday, was continued so he could undergo a competency evaluation.

The rescheduled preliminary hearing is planned for Nov. 25 before Magistrate Judge James Howard Barrett Jr. He remains held in an undisclosed secure detention center in eastern Idaho.