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Man indicted in motel maid's murder

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 56-year-old former bank executive was indicted by a Clayton County grand jury Wednesday on charges of murder, armed robbery, assault, kidnapping and carjacking.

Alfonso Mason, who once earned a six-figure salary at a bank in New Jersey, allegedly stabbed a woman to death at an extended-stay motel in Stockbridge. He then, allegedly, robbed the manager at gunpoint, kidnapped her and drove away in her silver minivan.

The crimes occured on March 8.

According to Clayton County Police, Mason pulled a small, black revolver, pointed it at the side of 40-year-old Bridgett McLemore's head, and stole $1,812 from the cash register. He forced her into her 2000 Pontiac Sunfire and drove away from the 7465 Davidson Parkway South motel.

McLemore told police that while they were in the car, Mason began talking about being angry at the maid, Cynthia Hyman, saying she was crazy. McLemore said he also talked about returning to the motel to rob it when the senior manager was there. He then, without explanation, dropped McLemore off about one mile from the Suburban Lodge.

When McLemore called 911, she told them about the armed robbery and said she was worried about Hyman. Police found the 49-year-old maid in a cleaning closet, stabbed five times in the stomach.

She was apparently killed a few minutes before the robbery and kidnapping.

Mason turned himself in to police 17 days later, after he saw his picture on TV and heard the news he was wanted.

Clayton County Police said he confessed to the crimes, and said his life was meaningless.

According to Detective Tom Martin, Mason left his bank position in New Jersey in 2000, and moved to Georgia to be near his daughter. Mason and his daughter had a falling out, however, and the man moved into the extended-stay motel.

He had lived there long enough, by the time of the crime in March, that the manager and the maid knew him. Mason allegedly spent large sums of money furnishing his $190 per week apartment, installing a large TV and buying a high-end easy chair.

In January 2007, however, his pension ran out and he began to struggle to make the rent. Hyman, who worked as a cleaning lady at the motel, helped him by selling some of his belongings, police said.

Mason, however, grew increasingly depressed. His drinking problem grew worse, Martin said. He, reportedly, spent all of his days sleeping and watching TV, and he was angry that people making an hourly wage at a cheap motel were kicking him out.

McLemore knew Mason was struggling when he came down to the front office and said he was going to rob her, but she told police she thought he was joking.

During the 17 days between the crime and the arrest, Mason, allegedly, went to a strip club and then rented a room in an extended-stay motel in DeKalb County.

His next court date has not yet been set.