Judge sets bail for James Mast, father of Benton County 4-year-old who died

Local News

BENTON COUNTY, Mo. – The father of a 4-year-old child who reportedly died of abuse at the hands of a neighbor couple who believed the child had a “demon” in her has been granted a half-million-dollar bail on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death.

James Mast may be released from the Benton County Jail if he posts a $500,000 bond and meets a list of requirements stipulated by Judge Mark Pilley today (1-19-2021), online court records indicate.

“Mr. Mast is a 28-year-old gentleman. He has absolutely no criminal record. There’s some uniqueness about his case. He’s charged as a defendant. I understand in a serious case, as a class A felony, but he’s also, in the same set of circumstances, recognized as a victim. I’m sure that scenario and those details will play out during the course of this case, but for the purposes of bond, I think it’s important for the court to recognize that Mr. Mast sits here not only as a defendant, but also a victim in a very serious assault,” said Scott Rosenblum, the attorney representing Mast.

He must also stay in the custody of his brother Ken Mast, have no contact with co-defendants, observe travel restrictions, wear an electronic ankle monitor, take regular drug tests, not possess a firearm, alcohol, or controlled substance.

Court records state that Pilley set the bond to free Mast from jail in consideration of the defendant’s ability to pay, the nature and circumstances of the offense, family ties in the area, employment, length of residence, character, and lack of previous felony convictions.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Rod Richardson said he believes Mast is a flight risk.

“The very violence of that acts that this defendant, I believe, perpetrated, not only on an adult, but on children, I believe if he gets out will make him a danger to the community. I believe he’s a flight risk. He does have connections in Pennsylvania, and when he was arrested, he wasn’t at his residence. He was in Stover. I would ask that no bond be set in this, Your Honor,” said Richardson.

His co-defendants Kourtney and Ethan Mast (no relation to James Mast, according to officials) were denied bail.

James Mast and Aumen are next scheduled to appear in court for hearings on March 2.

Ethan Mast is back in court on April 21.

James Mast’s wife Mary is to appear on Feb. 2 for a hearing. She is also charged with child endangerment, plus a charge of domestic assault. Mary Mast is also held in the Benton County Jail without bond.

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