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Former Mason City man finally exonerated in choking death incident case that took coworkers’s life

OTTAWA, ILLINOIS - A former Mason City man who used a choke hold to subdue a rowdy fella that caused death has finally been exonerated after years of court proceedings in Illinois.
Michael C. Castelli
ottawafuneralhome.com

OTTAWA, ILLINOIS – A former Mason City man who used a choke hold to subdue a rowdy fella that caused death has finally been exonerated after years of court proceedings in Illinois.

As NIT previously reported, Mason Thomas Shannon (pictured at top) was arrested in Mason City back on the evening of September 16, 2017. He was taken to the county jail in connection to an arrest warrant out of Lasalle county, Illinois for involuntary manslaughter. NIT followed up with a report on his upcoming trial.  According to a file on the alleged incident:

The evidence at trial established that Jordan Wilkinson, Joseph Brewer, and the defendant (Mason Shannon) worked together at Bonnie Plant Farms in Illinois. The defendant also lived on the property. Castelli was a friend of the defendant. Before midnight on July 20, 2017, Wilkinson and Brewer were unloading a truck at the farm, when the defendant and Castelli approached them. Castelli initially acted normally but then began to act strange. The defendant decided to take Castelli home, but Castelli got on his hands and knees and began crawling on the ground and making weird noises. Castelli hit Wilkinson in the back of the head with his fist. The defendant and Brewer sought to restrain Castelli while Wilkinson went to ask Clouse, who also worked at the farm, to assist. They zip tied Castelli’s wrists, but he broke free. They called the police, and the defendant placed Castelli in a chokehold for approximately 10 minutes before police arrived. Brewer and Wilkinson testified that Castelli was silent and motionless when the police arrived. La Salle County sheriff’s deputy William Norman arrived and ordered the defendant to release Castelli. He placed Castelli in handcuffs and noticed that Castelli did not make any movements, instead slumping over. Norman removed the handcuffs, called for a medic, and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation with the defendant’s help.

As a result, Shannon was charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly recklessly causing the death of Michael Castelli by holding him in a chokehold. The court found Shannon guilty of involuntary manslaughter.  However, court irregularities and possible conflicts of interest – the judge’s possible financial gain from the case – were found and after years of motions and filings, Shannon was ultimately granted a new trial.

Last week, Shannon was finally acquitted of involuntary manslaughter when a judge ruled he is not-guilty, according to the local Illinois paper covering the case.

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