5:38 PM

Boss Allegedly Beats Teen Ranch Hand So Severely He Breaks Both Legs, Nose:

By Kathee Baird
February 10, 2015

James Rhett Mason (courtesy BCSO)
James Rhett Mason (courtesy BCSO)

Cassville, Mo.-  A man from Cassville is facing some serious charges for allegedly beating a teenager so severely he had to undergo emergency surgery.
Barry County assistant prosecutor J. Patrick Sullivan says when James Rhett Mason beat Tyler Pendegraft, 17, with an axe handle he broke both of his legs and nose.
Pendergraft worked as “a ranch hand” for Mason, according to Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. Epperly says that Mason called Pendergraft out to his ranch to confront the teen about stealing diesel fuel.  Once there, Mason used a skid steer to pick the teen’s truck up and prevent him from leaving.  Pendergraft was then beaten with the axe handle.
Pendergraft told Deputy Michael Moore he thought he was going to die because Mason told him “he was going to bury him.”  He was transported to Cox South in Springfield where he underwent emergency surgery to his right leg.
Epperly says that once the assault was over Mason ordered Pendergraft off his property.  The teen dragged himself to his truck and drove with two broken legs to Cassville to seek help.
“We’re not saying he [Mason] didn’t have a stealing case, but you can’t take the law into your own hands.”
Mason, 42, has been charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and property damage.  He is being held in the Barry County jail on a $250,000 cash only bond.
Copyright 2015 Stone County Chronicle