The Gainesville Police Department and the Hall County District Attorney’s Office announce an arrest in the 11 year old murder case of Crystal Barnette.
Developments in this case began to progress on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, during the attack of a 39 year old female victim. Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, Gainesville Police personnel were called to the area between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and High Street in regards to an assault. During this attack, the female victim was physically assaulted by a male subject. The female victim, whose identity is currently being withheld as the investigation continues, was transported by ground ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, for treatment of her injuries and was later released.
Responding officers were able to obtain a description of the alleged assailant from the victim, and began a full search for the perpetrator. A short time later, officers located the perpetrator several blocks away from the scene of the assault; and took 40 year old, Daniel Lee Mason, III of Atlanta, Georgia in to custody without incident.
During the investigation of Wednesday’s case, the unsolved murder of Crystal Barnette, a 37 year old female from Gainesville, who was murdered in April of 2001, came into play. The murder of Crystal occurred in the same general area of Wednesday’s case and had a great deal of similarities as this new case. As the investigation of Wednesday’s case continued, leads were developed that led investigators to suspect Mason’s involvement in the 2001 murder of Crystal. As those leads were followed and vetted by investigators of the Gainesville Police Department and members of the Hall County District Attorney’s Office, it was determined that Mason was indeed involved in Crystal’s death.
The case of Crystal’s murder has remained open since 2001; it has been worked many times by different investigators with hopes that each time a fresh eye on the investigation would uncover new leads and the subsequent arrest of the person responsible. Many manpower hours and resources have been spent over the past 11 years working every angle of this case, all in hopes to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions. Many leads and tips were developed and have been followed; but none of them resulted in identifying the perpetrator, until last Wednesday’s case developed.
This is a case that has weighed heavy on many hearts, including the victim’s family and friends, as well as members of the Gainesville Police Department and the Hall County District Attorney’s Office, as they have worked tirelessly to bring closure to the victim’s loved ones.
The Gainesville Police Department has worked closely with the Hall County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Lee Darragh on both of these cases. The concerted efforts of both agencies has finally brought an arrest in the 2001 murder case of Crystal Barnette and it is our sincere hope that some closure has been brought to her loved ones.
Both cases remain under active investigation and at this time there is no evidence to indicate that any other persons were involved in either case. Evidence does indicate that Mason was known by both victims.
Mason is currently being held in the Hall County Jail without bond.
Copyright Glory 1330 2013