Authorities believe a man charged this week with the murder his ex-girlfriend last year crushed her body after she died, set it on fire and placed her body parts in garbage bags, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Wednesday.
The affidavit provided the first public accounts of the death of Perrie Mason, a mother of two from Meriden who was reported missing on Aug. 18 and found dead three days later in Waterbury outside the workplace of her ex-boyfriend, Jason Watson.
Watson was arraigned on a murder charge Wednesday in New Haven Superior Court. Bail was set at $3 million. His lawyer, Dean Popkin, said Watson denies any involvement in Mason’s death and he called the case circumstantial.
The warrant said cell phone location data and surveillance cameras showed Mason’s car was driven from her home to Watson’s workplace, Baystate Textiles, on Aug. 17. Watson is then seen on video entering the business, shortly before the company’s video camera stops recording, police said.
Police said they took a DNA sample from the video surveillance system’s power cord, which they believe was used to disable the system, and a criminal database indicated the DNA was Watson’s, the warrant said. Police obtained a DNA sample from Watson and it was compared with the DNA found on the power cord.
“The evidence collected from the power adapter was consistent with a single male’s DNA and Watson could not be eliminated as a contributer,” the warrant said.
Baystate Textiles also had an industrial compactor that police said was capable of causing Mason’s post-death crushing injuries, but authorities did not find any body fluids in the compactor, the warrant said. An autopsy was inconclusive on how Mason died.
Cell phone location records showed Watson’s phone traveled from Baystate Textiles to a Wallingford Walmart, where video showed Watson buying lighter fluid, plastic sheeting and a towel. Watson’s phone then returned to Baystate Textiles, the warrant said.
Police found Mason’s charred and dismembered body in garbage bags outside Baystate Textiles.
Watson, 39, was previously charged with strangulation and assault in connection with an Aug. 15 attack on Mason a few days after they broke up. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. Police say he choked Mason to unconsciousness, but she survived.
Mason, who grew up in Honolulu, moved to Connecticut in 2018, worked as a state court monitor and ran her own eyelash business. She and her two sons had lived with Watson and his two children from another relationship. Watson was not the father of Mason’s sons.
The warrant said Watson is a convicted felon and registered sex offender with a criminal history that includes sexual assault, assault and family violence offenses.