CHARDON, Ohio – A transgender woman was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for killing her frail husband by forcing him to exercise.
Chris Mason, 41, was sentenced in Geauga County Common Pleas Court for reckless homicide in the death of 73-year-old James Mason. She pleaded guilty earlier and could have gotten five years in prison.
Mason's voice quivered as she tearfully apologized for the June death of her husband, who had heart problems. A surveillance camera caught Mason forcing her husband around in the pool.
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Chris Mason also goes by Christine Newton-John, the name she took after her 1993 sex change.
"I want to apologize to my former husband's half-sister for her loss as well as to my family and for my loss," she said in court in an emotional tone. "It's been very upsetting and devastating for our entire family."
Regaining composure, Mason described their relationship.
"Jim had been in our family for over 45 years. He came up here from a small town and met my grandmother and my mother, who were like a mother and a sister to him," Mason said. "Over the years we gravitated towards each other, and he accepted me for who I was, not what I was."
They were in love, Mason said. "I'm not going to let jail turn me away. I will continue to hold my head up high and keep plugging along and moving along as I go through my life," Mason said.