A jury trial on charges against Mason Buddy was rescheduled Thursday morning in Edgartown District Court.
The trial could not be held because the Massachusetts Trial Court System has yet to resume jury trials after establishing a pandemic moratorium on them. Buddy is accused of bilking a senior out of $25,000 through a bogus investment proposal.
Buddy is also accused of failing to pay Clarence (“Trip”) Barnes for a vintage car. Buddy wasn’t present for the rescheduling. Trip Barnes was, and interrupted the proceeding a few times. Edgartown District Court Judge Benjamin Barnes admonished him for that.
“Sir, if you’re going to interrupt the court, we’re going to throw you out,” Judge Barnes said.
“Stop talking,” a court officer ordered.
When a new trial date was initially proposed for December, then rolled back to September, Buddy’s attorney, Matt Jackson, demurred, and said his client needed as much time as possible to amass restitution for the victims.
“Your honor, as the commonwealth indicated, this is a jail-or-pay case,” Jackson said. “My client understands that. He ‘s trying to raise substantial funds to pay both [victims].” Jackson asked for a December date.
“Attorney Jackson, it’s 889 days old,” Judge Barnes said of the primary case.
“Longer than that,” Trip Barnes interjected. “Put him in jail, for God’s sake.” Trip Barnes went on to say he expected to see a trial, and called the proceeding “a big lie.”
Judge Barnes reminded Trip Barnes if he didn’t quiet down and sit down, the court officer would eject him from the courtroom. “So have a seat,” Judge Barnes said.
The court probation officer told Judge Barnes the whereabouts of Mason Buddy’s GPS monitor has yet to be ascertained since he went into a medical facility.
“The GPS equipment, where is that?” Judge Barnes asked.
“I believe it’s at Saugus Rehab Center with him,” Jackson said. “I will call as soon as I’m off the Zoom today.”
“Okay, Probation needs that,” Judge Barnes said. Judge Barnes set a new jury trial for Sept. 22.
Trip Barnes later told The Times he had difficulty hearing in the courtroom, and alleged Buddy was from a patrician West Chop family but comported himself as a common thief.
He said he expected more from Judge Barnes, though admitted he was unaware the commonwealth had yet to lift the suspension on jury trials.
Reflecting on the automobile he alleges he’s owed money for, Barnes said, “It was a nice car, that’s what pissed me off.”
As upset as he was about the car, Barnes said he was more upset an elderly woman had allegedly lost $25,000 to Buddy.