Preble County, Ohio Prosecutor's OfficeMartin P. Votel, Prosecuting Attorney

Tyler Smith Sentenced to Life in Prison

Published on March 17th, 2016


Tyler Smith, of Eaton, Ohio, has been sentenced to a term of life in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty-five years in the shooting death of Mr. Jerry Mason on May 17, 2013.

On the morning of Friday, May 17, 2013, 22-year-old Tyler Smith awakened just before 6A.M. He walked out of his room into the living room where his mother’s boyfriend, Jerry Mason, was asleep on the couch. Smith walked into Mason’s bedroom, grabbed Mason’s 12-gauge shotgun, loaded it, and returned to the living room. Smith shot Jerry Mason at close range in the head while Mason slept, killing him instantly. Smith then called 911 and reported the crime.

In June 2013, Tyler Smith was indicted for “Aggravated Murder”, an unclassified felony pursuant to section 2903.01(A) of the Revised Code. After nearly three years of preliminary psychological evaluations and pretrial motions, Smith entered a plea of guilty as charged. On March 15, 2016, Preble County Court of Common Pleas Judge David Abruzzo sentenced Smith to a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving twenty-five years of the sentence. The state was represented throughout the case by Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel and the defendant was represented by attorney Brian Muenchenbach.

Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel: This murder was cold and it was calculated. The defendant himself admitted that he had been considering killing Jerry Mason for several weeks before the crime and that he had even contemplated the different methods he might use to kill Mr. Mason. Although this defendant did suffer from a number of psychological illnesses at the time of the offense, the psychological evaluations in this case made clear that none of these psychological diagnoses constituted a justification for the murder; in the state’s judgment, they likewise did not constitute mitigation evidence. The state is satisfied with the life sentence and extends its sympathy and that of our community to the family of Mr. Mason.