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Suspect arrested for murder of USA alumna

Pictured+on+the+left+is+USA+alumna+Kelei+Morris+who+was+murdered+in+2015.+Pictured+on+the+right+is+Steven+Mason%2C+who+was+recently+arrested+in+connection+with+her+murder.+Photo+courtesy+of+Fox10tv.com.
Pictured on the left is USA alumna Kelei Morris who was murdered in 2015. Pictured on the right is Steven Mason, who was recently arrested in connection with her murder. Photo courtesy of Fox10tv.com.

Pictured on the left is USA alumna Kelei Morris who was murdered in 2015. Pictured on the right is Steven Mason, who was recently arrested in connection with her murder. Photo courtesy of Fox10tv.com.

Pictured on the left is USA alumna Kelei Morris who was murdered in 2015. Pictured on the right is Steven Mason, who was recently arrested in connection with her murder. Photo courtesy of Fox10tv.com.

Krisha Amin, Life Editor

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The Mobile Police Department made an arrest in connection with the 2015 murder of Kelei Morris, a USA alumna, on Monday, March 20, according to the Sun Herald.

Steven Mason, 33, was arrested in connection to the case.

The murder occurred in 2015 outside Morris’s apartment complex on Feb. 2, 2015. She was shot in the head and died two days later, according to Fox10.

Before her passing, Morris briefly dated Mason, according to NBC Local 15.

Morris was born in New Orleans and raised in neighboring Biloxi, MS. She graduated from USA in 2013, with a bachelor’s degree in cardio-respiratory science. While at USA, Morris was an active member in the university’s Catholic Student Association, according to the Sun Herald.

Prior to her death, Morris was fulfilling her dream of helping others as a respiratory therapist at the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, according to AL.com.

This is not Mason’s first encounter with the law.

In June 2002, Mason, who was 18-years-old at the time of the murder, killed his former girlfriend, Mesha Anglin, in Mobile County. Anglin was shot in the head as Mason stood outside her bedroom window, according to NBC Local 15.

Mason was tried as a juvenile. He was acquitted of full murder charges and instead granted juvenile-offender status, according to Sun Herald. This meant that if Mason was convicted of the murder at that time, he would only have to serve a maximum of three years in prison.

In juvenile cases, the “offender status” is given to minors for committing acts of felony that are considered violations of law just because of the youth’s status, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Status offenses typically include skipping school, underage drinking and violating city curfews, according to the American Bar Association. Alabama law’s youthful offender status policy allows even a class C felony, which entails the consequences of committed murder, to be under the youthful offender umbrella in special cases.

In hindsight, the Alabama juvenile offender status aided Mason.

According to Bradford Ladner LLP, the granting of youthful offender status seals any records of previous crimes and even if one is found guilty of the offense, it will not show up as a conviction on records.

Mason was able to live a normal life and get a nursing job at Singing River Health System.

Because of his youthful offender status, Mason passed the criminal background check, that all new employees must take prior to being hired, according to the Sun Herald.

Mason has been charged with the murder and booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail, according to Fox 10.

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Suspect arrested for murder of USA alumna