The man suspected of killing a 24-year-old respiratory therapist in Mobile more than three years ago will face capital murder charges and could be sentenced to death.
The Mobile County District Attorney’s office announced Thursday a local grand jury had indicted Steven O’Brien Mason, 34, one count of capital murder related to the 2015 killing of Ke’lei Morris. Prosecutors say the two had previously dated before Morris would found murdered in February 2015.
According to the indictment, the grand jury found enough evidence to allege that Mason did “intentionally cause the death of [Morris’] by shooting her with a gun for pecuniary or other valuable consideration or pursuant to a contract for hire” adding that Mason originally hired his co-defendant, Adam Miller, to kill Morris for him.
Miller was arrested in Colorado shortly after police apprehended Mason. He was also charged with murder, though it is unclear at this time whether Miller has been formally indicted.
No one from the District Attorney’s office has said whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Mason but it would not be uncommon for them to do so, and the capital murder charge means they’ll have the option at their disposal. A representative said the office isn’t taking questions about the case at this time.
Mason also faces three charges of “solicitation to commit murder” and three others for “criminal conspiracy to commit murder.”
Prosecutors say those charges from 2017 stem from efforts Mason made on two separate occasions to hire someone to kill witnesses involved in his murder case from inside Mobile County Metro Jail.
After thwarting Mason’s second attempt to have witnesses killed from behind bars, authorities secured an indictment charging an inmate identified as Jeremy Luper with the same offenses. The status of Luper’s case is unknown at this time.
Solicitation to commit murder is a Class A felony in Alabama and conviction carries with it a potential sentence of “no less than 10 years and no more than 99 years in state prison.”
Mason was also charged with murder in a 2002 juvenile case related to the death of 17-year-old Mesha Anglin. He was 18 at the time and was granted youthful offender status in the case, which means the court records are sealed.
Mason is believed to have served just three years behind bars for Anglin’s murder.