Mason found guilty in deadly fish arcade shooting

Published 5:04 pm Thursday, September 23, 2021

SALISBURY — A jury on Thursday found Dedric Michelle Mason guilty of second-degree murder for the killing of James Christopher Davis at a fish arcade on East Innes Street.

Superior Court Judge Lori Hamilton sentenced Mason, 45, to a minimum of 12.5 years (150 months) and a maximum of 16 years (192 months) in prison for the crime.

After the verdict was read aloud, Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler said there was “no winner in this case” because it was a sad situation for all involved.

Mason was initially charged with second-degree murder more than three years ago for shooting Davis.

He died in the early morning hours of April 21, 2018 after being shot by Mason during a scuffle with Mason and her friend, Andrea Dillard. The fight and subsequent shooting occurred at the Fishzilla Arcade located at 1812 E. Innes St. The physical altercation followed a verbal argument also involving Davis’ longtime girlfriend, Cheviss Bennett.

The prosecution in the case against Mason was led by Assistant District Attorneys Poppler and Jennifer Greene, who called a number of eyewitnesses and law enforcement officers to build the case that Mason acted unlawfully in killing Davis.

“I appreciate the hard work and dedication of Assistant District Attorneys Barrett Poppler and Jennifer Greene in the trial of this case, along with the thorough investigation conducted by the Salisbury Police Department,” District Attorney Brandy Cook said in a statement. “I also appreciate the attentiveness of the jury during the past two weeks.  I sincerely hope the guilty verdict provides at least a small sense of closure for Mr. Davis’ family.”

The defense in the case was led by Ryan Stowe and Todd Paris, who tried to prove that Mason killed in self defense and in defense of Dillard. After his client was found guilty, Paris said the situation was sad for everyone involved, but also said Mason could take solace in the fact that her best friend did not get choked to death on the floor of the arcade that night.

The verdict from the jury came at the conclusion of a trial that lasted a little over a week.

Fish arcades get their name from the animals pictured in the games people play inside.