The Elkmont teenager facing capital murder charges as an adult killed each of his five family members in September 2019 by shooting them in the head and showed no signs of remorse, according to a juvenile probation officer's report prepared last November and filed in court this week.
Mason Sisk, now 15, was charged as an adult last week with four counts of capital murder and remains in the Limestone County Jail with no bail.
“Mason does not seem bothered by the fact that he is accused of murdering his family,” said Limestone County’s chief juvenile probation officer Tara Pressnell, in the Juvenile Court Transfer Report that’s included in court documents. “He has not shown any sign of remorse. While in detention, he has not talked about his family at all.”
The Nov. 6, 2019, report says Sisk was following directions, doing his school work and interacting well with others at the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Tuscumbia, where he was taken after his arrest. He was 14 at the time.
After a transfer hearing last week, Limestone County Juvenile Judge Matthew Huggins ordered the case to be transferred to circuit criminal court for prosecution and bound over to a grand jury. Sisk was placed in the Limestone County Jail. He is charged with one count of capital murder of two or more victims and three counts of capital murder of a victim under the age of 14.
The judge wrote in his order that he considered factors including the nature of the alleged offense and the extent and nature of prior delinquency records. The judge also considered Sisk’s physical and mental maturity, his demeanor and the interests of the community and Sisk in requiring that he be placed “under legal restraint or discipline.”
“There are no reasonable grounds to believe (Sisk) is committable to an institution or agency for the mentally retarded or mentally ill,” Huggins said in his order. Also, Huggins said, Sisk cannot be properly disciplined under juvenile law, and “it would be in the best interest of the community and of the child that he be placed under legal restraint and discipline.”
The order said the court finds there is probable cause to believe that Sisk committed capital murder.
Those at the hearing were Sisk, represented by Athens attorney Lucas Beaty and guardian ad litem Michael Sizemore; assistant district attorneys Jim Ayers and Kristen Clemmons and Pressnell. Beaty couldn’t be reached for comment.
“Due to the seriousness of the current allegations it appears it is in the best interest of the community” that Sisk’s case be transferred to the adult court system for prosecution, where Sisk can be placed “under legal restraint or discipline,” Pressnell wrote in the November 2019 report. In describing the alleged offense, the report noted that Sisk shot his father, stepmother and three siblings in the head.
There have been no reports to the officer of Sisk being diagnosed with a mental illness or disability, according to Pressnell's report, and he “appears to be of normal mental and physical maturity for his age.” He had received two disciplinary write-ups and several warnings or reminders of unacceptable behavior, with the majority of the warnings being for talking without permission. Twice, he had earned honor resident status, the highest level of privilege a resident can receive.
The report said Sisk did not have a prior delinquency record.
The victims, according to Limestone County sheriff's spokesman Stephen Young, were Sisk’s father John Wayne Sisk, 38; his stepmother Mary Sisk, 35; his 6-year-old brother; his 5-year-old sister; and his 6-month-old brother. The shootings occurred at the family’s home on Ridge Road in Elkmont.