GAINESVILLE - A Gainesville man was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill to charges in a cold case murder and a separate assault.
Daniel Lee Mason, 41, plead guilty but mentally ill in mid-April to a malice murder charged that stemmed from the 2001 cold case murder of Crystal Barnett.
He also pleaded guilty but mentally ill to multiple counts in a 2012 assault of a Gainesville woman. In that incident, he was charged with attempted murder, robbery by force, sexual battery (misdemeanor), possession of cocaine and false information to an officer after he beat the victim with a piece of concrete while attempting to steal her purse.
"He was allowed to plead guilty but mentally ill on all counts, which does not affect the time he'd have to serve in incarceration," said District Attorney Lee Darragh.
Darragh also said after the 2012 crimes, Mason took responsibility early on.
Mason will not be eligible for parole until 2044.