Fergus Falls man sentenced to prison for fatal shooting

Michaelray Ericthomas Mason sentencing
Michaelray Ericthomas Mason at his sentencing hearing in Becker County District Court on Wednesday, March 20. Matt Henson / WDAY

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — A 29-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday, March 20, in Becker County District Court to about 12 years behind bars for fatally shooting a man in November.

Judge Jay Carlson ordered Michaelray Ericthomas Mason to spend 12 years and six months in prison on one felony count of second-degree murder without intent.

Mason, of Fergus Falls, pleaded guilty to the murder charge in January, and a charge of possession of a firearm was dismissed at Wednesday’s hearing.


On Nov. 13, police were sent to a home in Audubon after Mason called 911 reporting that he shot a man, court documents stated. The victim, 35-year-old Stephen Scott Lafazia, was found dead by authorities.

Mason told police he and Lafazia had been drinking during the day and got into an argument when they returned home, court documents stated.

Mason told police Lafazia was about to attack him when he shot him. In one police interview, Mason said Lafazia had his arms extended when he shot him, but later said in another police interview that he was reaching for a knife, court documents said.

At the hearing, Mason first apologized to his family and then asked Lafazia's family for forgiveness.

"I wish I could go back and handle it differently. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me," he told them.

Lafazia's mother, Maureen Harter, said it would be hard to do, and that Mason hadn't shown much remorse for killing her only son, who was about to open his own business and is survived by a 5-year-old daughter.

"You made the decision that Stephen's life was no longer important and killed him," she said.

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