For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: April 19, 2006

Mason Admits Gun Thefts, Surrenders His Law License

(Boise) – Former Idaho Falls City Prosecutor Kimball W. Mason pleaded guilty to three felony charges today and publicly admitted to his misconduct in taking 16 additional firearms in uncharged felonies, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Mason entered his pleas during arraignment before Senior District Judge William H. Woodland in Seventh District Court in Idaho Falls.

Judge Woodland accepted the guilty pleas and set a sentencing hearing for May 30, 2006, at 9:00 AM.

On March 20, 2006, the Attorney General charged Mason with two counts of grand theft in violation of Idaho Code Sections 18-2403(1) and 18-2407(1)(b) and one count of falsifying a public record in violation of Idaho Code Section 18-3201.

Mason entered into a written agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to the three felonies and admit in open court that he stole 16 other guns from the City of Idaho Falls that had been seized in criminal cases. Mason was required to truthfully disclose the disposition of the stolen guns and other property. He will also be required to pay restitution for the stolen property to the City of Idaho Falls.

In addition to his guilty pleas, and as part of the agreement, Mason has surrendered his license to practice law. The state has provided the Idaho State Bar Association with a complete copy of the report of investigation concerning Mason’s conduct.

Mason will not be given a withheld judgment. The plea agreement requires judgments of conviction on all three felony counts and contemplates three 1-5 year concurrent sentences in the Idaho State Penitentiary. The state agreed not to oppose suspending the prison sentences. The state will recommend that Mason serve twelve months in a county jail.

“This is a serious case involving a serious breach of the public trust by a public official,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “In resolving this case, the primary concerns of this office were to assure that the defendant was convicted of multiple felonies, that judgment was not withheld, that the value of the public property taken was paid back, and that the defendant lose his license to practice law so this conduct could not be repeated. We have also recommended a jail sentence that recognizes that the defendant is accepting responsibility for his misconduct but is still harsher than usually received by offenders with no prior criminal record. We feel that the harsher punishment is justified because of the breach of trust involved. The plea agreement reached in this case satisfies all of these concerns and avoids a prolonged and expensive trial at the expense of the county.”

By pleading guilty, Mason admitted to the allegations in the complaint. Those allegations are as follows:

Count 1 alleges that, on July 19, 2005, Mason wrongfully obtained and withheld a Ruger .357 revolver from its owner, the City of Idaho Falls, with the intent to appropriate the gun to himself or another person.

Count 2 alleges that, on May 3, 2001, Mason wrongfully obtained and withheld a Lorcin 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol from its owner, the City of Idaho Falls, with the intent to appropriate the gun to himself or another person.

Count 3 alleges that, on February 2, 2004, Mason, while employed as the Idaho Falls City Prosecuting Attorney, willfully altered a court order for the release of evidence, which had been signed by Judge Keith M. Walker and which was an official government record.

The Special Prosecutions Unit of the Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division is prosecuting the case at the request of Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Dane Watkins, Jr.

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