Judge orders man accused of shooting child to remain locked up

Posted at 1:40 PM, Jun 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-06 18:59:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. -  Less than 24 hours after Dontrell Mason, 21, surrendered to police for shooting a 23-month-old girl, he appeared by way of video-conferencing inside a Manchester courtroom.

In a matter of moments, a judge ordered Mason to remain behind bars. He is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Detectives said Mason was responsible for a shooting that happened Sunday around 10:00 pm, in the 1400 block of Harwood Street in the Hillside Court neighborhood.

It's an area, Mildred Hunter has called home since 1998. Hunter said she knows the community well, as she also served on the Hillside Court Council for nearly two decades. She also knows the 23-month-old girl injured in the shooting.

"I see the baby outside waving--you know," Hunter said. "She's a pretty little girl."

The little girl spent five days in the hospital recovering from her  injuries. Police sources said the shooting occurred when the gun accidentally fired in the home.

Mason has an extensive criminal background. One that CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said could come back to haunt him, as it may impact the amount of time he could serve behind bars if convicted of the misdemeanor charge.

"Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, is either two years mandatory or five years mandatory," Stone said.

Back at Hillside Court, Mildred Hunter said Mason is not the only one at fault.

"Mothers need to be more careful and watch for these children, and watch where these children are at," Hunter said. "And watch who they bring around their children."

Mason is set to return to court on June 20, during which time he could request a court-appointed attorney. For now Mason is only facing the one offense, however additional charges are pending.