LISBON - Following more than 30 minutes of testimony by a Salem police detective concerning the death of Samantha Shasteen, her boyfriend, Mason Feisel, was bound over to the grand jury by county Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost on a murder charge.
Detective David Talbert testified that early on the morning of June 6, Shasteen's father, Gary Shasteen, had entered the garage of the home he owns on Oak Street and found Feisel sleeping with the garage doors down, a vehicle running and an orange hose and sock near the exhaust pipe.
Gary Shasteen had been asked by his wife to check on his daughter after she had not returned calls or text messages since the evening before. He found her in the bathroom on the first floor of the home and called police.
“I tried to keep it together and anger just consumes me. You might as well paint me green, because I’m like the (expletive) Hulk.” — Mason Feisel, shown above during his appearance in Municipal Court.
When Talbert arrived at 7:38 a.m. June 6 he found Samantha Shasteen lying in the bathtub, nude and cold to the touch, he testified Thursday. Rigor had begun setting in and there was a small amount of blood coming from the base of her skull and going toward the drain.
Feisel had run from the garage after Gary Shasteen discovered him, but he was found quickly by Salem Lt. Charles Shafer in the backyard of a neighbor's home. Police reportedly found him with what Talbert described as superficial cuts to his arms and attempting to cut his own throat with a shard of glass. He was ordered by police with Tasers drawn to come out of the wooded area and cooperated while taken into custody.
Talbert said he spoke to Feisel at Salem Community Hospital, where Feisel was being treated for the wounds on his arms. Feisel had reportedly described his relationship with Samantha Shasteen as "tumultuous" and he admitted to having a problem with anger, Talbert said.
"I tried to keep it together and anger just consumes me," Talbert read from his notes about the statement he said Feisel gave him. "You might as well paint me green, because I'm like the (expletive) Hulk."
Talbert said Feisel made an accompanying hand gesture with the statement, which was later described as if you were choking someone.
Talbert said Feisel had arrived at the home at around 6:30 or 7 p.m., and he told Talbert he had speculated Samantha Shasteen had been speaking with Thomas Colbert of Salem on the phone. Talbert said the investigation later found Shasteen had been planning to meet Colbert later on the evening of June 5. She had also confided in family members her intentions to break up with Feisel, with whom she had had an on again, off again relationship since they met at culinary school in Columbus.
The detective testified that when he asked Feisel what police should tell his 4-year-old daughter with Shasteen about what happened to her mother, he simply said, "So tell her." Talbert said Feisel told him police would figure it out.
Talbert described his interview with Feisel as cordial and said at one point before he arrived at the hospital, Feisel had asked Salem police Sgt. Karl Toy to just take him to jail.
Talbert attended Shasteen's autopsy in Summit County and learned the cause of death was homicide and the manner was manual strangulation. When questioned by defense attorney Charley Kidder, Talbert said he did not have a time of death but, to his knowledge, full rigor sets in about 12 hours after death.
Talbert was also questioned about whether Feisel had been given any medications at the hospital before he was interviewed, and Talbert said he has obtained the medical records of what treatments were issued.
The investigation continues, with cell phones and other evidence still being processed by the Bureau of Criminal Information and Investigation, according to Talbert.
Frost ruled there is enough evidence to suggest probable cause that Feisel may have committed the crime, citing both Feisel's characterization of himself when he is angry, the hand gesture and the fact that Feisel left the scene after he was found in the house.
Bond was continued at $1 million at the request of Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble, with Kidder offering no protest.
With several interested parties in the courtroom, Frost offered his condolences to the family, noting it is an "absolute fact" a daughter, a sister and mother was lost and there is a child, who is now essentially parentless at this point.