News

Barnard, Masterson clash over testimony

Masterson's booking photo shows a tattoo referred to during Wednesday's trial.
Posted: Apr. 16, 2015 7:47 am Updated: Apr. 30, 2015 8:25 am
Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard, left, and David Masterson

By DON O'BRIEN
Staff Writer | 217-221-3370
dobrien@whig.com@DOBrienWHIG

QUINCY -- A day that started with David Masterson acting out on the witness stand and challenging prosecutors ended with him hanging his head after being convicted of aggravated first-degree murder.

Masterson took the stand in his own defense Wednesday morning and tried to convince a jury of six women and six men that he acted in self-defense when he took a 29-inch lead pipe and beat 41-year-old Jason Tournear to death Dec. 13.

Ultimately, the jury didn't buy his version of events, handing him the harshest possible sentence. He simply bowed his head as the clerk read the jury's verdict.

Masterson became flustered on the stand as Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard questioned his version of events. Barnard said it was impossible for things to have happened the way Masterson described them to the jury -- including information he had previously not told police.

Masterson said he started to remember a lot of things after being placed in the Adams County Jail, things he didn't tell police during earlier interrogations.

"I was kind of mind-boggled that night," Masterson said. "It wasn't something I was planning to do that day."

Then Masterson turned on Barnard.

"That was a nice look you just gave me," Masterson said to Barnard. "It was kind of sexy."

Barnard later approached the witness stand and asked to take a measurement of Masterson's arm. Masterson flung his arm up quickly with a clinched fist.

Barnard also asked him the meaning of the "F.T.W." tattoo on the left side of Masterson's head. Masterson didn't want to answer but was instructed to, so he responded with several answers, all of them starting with an expletive.

Masterson then pulled down his front lip and said he had another tattoo that said "(expletive) you" and showed it to Barnard.

Masterson glared at Barnard as he walked past him after his testimony and made many in the courtroom uneasy during closing statements early Wednesday afternoon.

While Barnard was delivering his rebuttal to Chief Public Defender Holly Henze's closing statement, Masterson stood up and began tugging on his belt buckle. The move startled his attorneys and drew a quick admonishment from bailiffs to sit down. Masterson said he was trying to tuck in his shirt.