Man accused in Salem murder sane; trial set

LISBON – The Boardman man accused of strangling his girlfriend in her Salem home more than a year ago has once again been found sane at the time the crime was committed.

This was the second sanity evaluation for Mason Feisel, 35, who is charged with murder in the death of Samantha Shasteen. This evaluation was done at the request of his attorneys, Kelly Linger and Charley Kidder, after an evaluation done by the Forensic Evaluation Services found him sane. The second evaluation was conducted by Dr. John M. Fabian, a forensic psychologist.

In Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on Monday, Judge C. Ashley Pike read from Fabian’s 10-page report, summarizing that Fabian found “Feisel did not suffer from a mental defect at the time of the crime and he did know the wrongfulness of his actions.”

The evaluation’s findings were similar to those in the first evaluation, which had also noted Feisel may have been showing symptoms of depression at the time the alleged crimes were committed.

Following the discovery of Shasteen’s body by her father, Gary Shasteen, Salem police reported finding Feisel hiding in the bushes near a neighboring home attempting to cut his own throat and wrists with a shard of glass.

Five people in support of Shasteen appeared in court Monday, wearing photos of her attached to their clothing. There were some tears shed when the results of the evaluation were known and new dates for a trial were selected.

Due to the large number of other high-profile county cases, including four murders and one attempted murder, Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble suggested late October or the first of the year as the next available dates. The jury trial was set for Oct. 21.

Feisel is accused of strangling his on again, off again girlfriend on a night when others have told police she had planned to end her relationship with him for the last time. Feisel and Shasteen had a daughter together, who was 4 years old at the time of the murder. Shasteen’s body was discovered in the bathtub of her Oak Street home by her father on the morning of June 6, 2013.

Gary Shasteen also reportedly found Feisel sleeping in the home’s garage with the doors down and a vehicle running. Feisel then reportedly fled before being located by police.