Injustice, miscarriage of justice, Mansfield unsolved murder, withheld evidence, destroyed evidence

free matt mason


Following the initial meeting between Nancy Mason and Ida Kennon (the victim’s Sister-in-law), Ida took Nancy out into the streets to investigate the case and talk to witnesses. Some of the evidence they found included (copies of signed Affidavits can be found at the bottom of this page]:

  •  Marshall Kennon -  Gurcia Johnson’s brother. He confirmed that Judy Taylor had lied when she testified that Marshall had come to her looking for Matt, and further stated in his Affidavit that he had been forced to testify at Matt's trial in jail clothes despite having been released from jail before his time to testify.

  • George Bogolis -  Owner of the Kallethea Bar. He was present at the Kallethea Bar on December 30, 1985 . He remembered seeing Gurcia Johnson, but did not see Matt, upon being shown a picture of him.

  • Joe Lee Williams - A friend of Gurcia Johnson. He was once married to Judy Taylor. He was in the Kallethea Bar in the afternoon of December 30, 1985 and did not see Taylor, despite her claims at trial of having been there. He also did not see Matt.

  • Nancy Williams -  Joe Lee William’s wife and friend of Gurcia Johnson. She knew that Judy Taylor was in Maine on December 30, 1985 not Ohio, and certainly not in the Kallethea Bar.

  • Karen Novak – Barmaid at the Riviera Bar, next door to the Kallethea Bar. She saw Gurcia Johnson and the two men that matched the composite drawings from the newspaper, on December 30, 1985 and was certain that neither were Matt upon viewing a photo. Upon further review of the photo, she recognized Matt as the man who had installed her waterbed earlier that year. She was absolutely certain it was not Matt with Gurcia Johnson on December 30, 1985.

  • John Smith - Friend of Gurcia Johnson. He knew that Judy Taylor was not in Kallethea Bar on December 30, 1985 because he was; also attested to Gurcia Johnson’s fighting ability.

  • Mike and Judy Scherer - next door neighbors of Butch Perkins. They had been interviewed by police, and told the police that the truck had been sitting on Perkins' property since summer of 1985, and further stated that the Mansfield City Bureau of Codes and Permits people had been out and had written a citation for the truck parts in the yard. They were not called to testify by the Prosecutor and the Defense did not know about them.

  • The Bureau of Codes and Permits told Nancy Mason that the Ashland Detective, Roger Martin, had taken the paperwork on the Perkins' citation from the file, but would not provide an Affidavit.

  • Andy Schulte – Perkins’ Nephew. He confirmed that the truck had been at his Uncle's house since the summer of 1985, and that he had helped him cut it up in the spring of 1986, thereby disproving the claims presented by the Prosecutor that Matt was driving the truck in the summer of 1987, which testimony the Prosecutor knew to be false. 

  • Marlene Schulte - Perkins' sister and Matt's landlady. She confirmed that her brother had been badgered and confused by the Prosecutor. She confirmed that she had accompanied both Perkins and Matt to the Courthouse to transfer the title on August 1, 1985 and that she specifically remembered this because the license plates expired on that date, and Matt was driving a blue Oldsmobile when he sold the truck to her brother.

  • Cherie Shilling – Gurcia Johnson’s roommate. She told Nancy Mason and Ida Kennon that Gurcia had been selling drugs for Mansfield Police Detective Robert Lemon, for whom she was also a police informant, and he had been at the house on December 29, 1985 accusing Gurcia of having withheld money from a sale. Gurcia responded that she didn't care, she would tell on him, "No", she said, "I'll cut your throat". This incident was 24 hours before she was found dead with her throat cut. Ms. Shilling agreed to testify at a hearing, but refused to provide an Affidavit for fear of her safety. Matt has never had a review of the evidence or a hearing.

  • In 1987, a Federal Investigator, Robert C. Greenhalgh was brought in by the then Mayor of Mansfield, Ed Meehan, to investigate a series of twenty-one unsolved homicides in and around Mansfield which were surrounded by rumors of police involvement. This was in the wake of the conviction of a Police Lieutenant, Charles Oswalt, being convicted of manslaughter in the then unsolved death of Margie Coffey in the mid 1980’s, and the disciplining of several other Mansfield Police personnel for covering it up and obstructing justice. During the course of the Greenhalgh investigation, the Mansfield Police apparatus scrambled to solve any of the twenty-one unsolved murders, in apparent hopes of forestalling findings of corruption in their Department. 

  • The Greenhalgh Report was issued in 1989. This detailed four of the murders. The fourth one in the Report was the Gurcia Johnson murder. The Report was withheld from the Defense at trial, despite a clear Order from the judge to turn over ALL reports. The report stated that all patrons known to have been in the Bar were interviewed with statements taken and retained in the files; and listed several other witnesses. None of these witnesses were disclosed to the Defense, and none were brought to trial by the Prosecutor to testify. All of the patrons who were uncovered by Ida and Nancy's investigation categorically state that Matt was not in the Bar with Gurcia Johnson on December 30, 1985. The only witness known to have been in the Bar who was brought to testify by the Prosecutor was LaTreva Perdue, who testified that Matt was not the man in question. An except of the Greenhalgh Report can be found at the end of this page.

Matt had been in prison for two years, before he ever heard of or saw this report. 

All of the family and friends of Gurcia Johnson, as well as the actual witnesses who had actually been in the Kallethea Bar on December 30, 1985 all attested to LaTreva Perdue (and Matt) having told the truth. These are her family and friends! Moreover, all of them were known to the Prosecutor and not disclosed to the Defense for trial.

Notably, although an Investigator was hired by Matt's lawyer, he was a partner in his agency with former Mansfield Police Detective Robert Lemon, a man who was positively implicated in the murder by actual witnesses, thus suggesting a reason for the failure to discover any of these witnesses that Nancy found with the help of Ida Kennon.  

Also of note, Matt's trial lawyer, Damian Vercillo, was handed an "interim" Judgeship mere months after laying down at trial, a Judgeship he retains to this day. Vercillo has refused to answer any letters from Matt, since the day Matt arrived at prison in 1991.

Matt needs to let Nancy know how much he appreciates everything she did for him those years ago. Thank you Nancy!  

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