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Man arrested for murder after body found on Hanover driveway

Posted at 12:13 PM, Aug 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-04 12:16:22-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. — A Richmond man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the June 27 shooting death of Craig Michael Bates.

Justin Valentino Mason, 25,  was arrested early Tuesday morning when someone tipped off the Hanover Sheriff’s Office to his possible location, investigators said. The U.S. Marshals Service located and arrested Mason in Richmond without incident.

Justin Valentino Mason (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff's Office)

Justin Valentino Mason (PHOTO: Hanover Sheriff’s Office)

“I am proud of the efforts of our investigative team and the efforts of our law enforcement partners in the region including the U.S. Marshals Service for their efforts up to this point,” Hanover Sheriff Colonel David R. Hines said. “Although an arrest has been made, we will continue to make sure all evidence is identified to ensure support of a successful prosecution.”

In addition to murder, Mason is also charged with use or display of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is being held without bond at Pamunkey Regional Jail.

The Crime Scene

Investigators were called to the 1500 block of Mickie Town Road in western Hanover when someone discovered Bates’ body  at about 10 a.m on June 27.

"I heard three gunshots about 6:40 – 6:45 a.m," said one neighbor who spoke on the condition of anonymity. She said she looked outside and did not see anything."I don’t know what happened, what’s going on, but normally it’s a very quiet neighborhood, so I just don’t know."

She then received a call from her son that confirmed something was wrong and said “there’s a dude passed out in our driveway.” She said she told her son to call the Sheriff’s Office.

Craig  Bates (SOURCE: Family photo)

Craig Bates (SOURCE: Family photo)

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call the Hanover Sheriff’s Office at 804-365-6140 or Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.  Anyone with additional information about this crime can submit a news tip here.