OTTAWA, Illinois | A Mason City man will stand trial for murder after he was initially charged for involuntary manslaughter.

Mason Shannon, 43, was charged with murder Dec. 22, according to court records. He previously had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in mid-September.

Shannon was released from Cerro Gordo County's custody Sept. 22 and later extradited to Illinois, Sheriff Kevin Pals told the Globe Gazette in October. 

The LaSalle News Tribune reported this week that Shannon, who allegedly fatally choked Michael Castelli, 32, of Ottawa, Illinois, appeared in court.

His lawyer, Douglas DeBoer, said Shannon and Castelli were co-workers at Bonnie Plants when the incident occurred on July 20, the News Tribune reported.

Castelli was possibly on psychedelic mushrooms and was "filled with rage," DeBoer said. Others present at the scene had to restrain Castelli for 21 minutes, he added.

"Nobody wanted him to die," he said in court. "This was an accident."

Persecutors, however, allege Shannon knew what he was doing when he put Castelli into a chokehold, an action likely to cause death.

Shannon faces 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.

His trial has been scheduled for Feb. 26, 2018.

Contact Steve at 641-421-0527 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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