LEWISTON, Idaho — A North Dakota man was shot and killed by his father-in-law in Idaho on Feb. 5, the same day he was to meet his two children after a roughly three-year custody battle that began in Williston, N.D., police alleged in court documents.

James Robert Brashear of Winchester, Idaho, was arraigned Feb. 8 in Nez Perce County Magistrate Court on a first-degree murder charge, a capital offense in Idaho. Court documents alleged the 67-year-old fatally shot his son-in-law, 40-year-old John Allen Mast, in Lewiston.

Prosecutor Justin Coleman said his office has not determined whether it would seek the death penalty in the case.

Lewiston police found Mast with gunshot wounds at a supermarket at about 6 p.m. Feb. 5, according to court documents. Brashear, who had a 9mm pistol, was taken into custody at the scene without incident, a criminal complaint said.

James Brashear
James Brashear

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Brashear told police his daughter, Rebecca Brashear-Mast, and Mast had been embroiled in a years-long custody battle, the court documents said. He accused Mast of sexually abusing the Mast children, but no criminal charges were filed, according to court documents.

Divorce filings from Williams County (N.D.) District Court detail the proceedings that began in January 2018. Brashear-Mast also filed a domestic violence protection order in December 2017.

Brashear-Mast accused her husband of domestic violence before fleeing from Williston to Idaho with their children in the fall of 2017, Mast's family said. Court documents confirm the Mast and his wife separated in October 2017.

Williams County Judge Josh Rustad said in a May 2020 ruling there was no evidence Mast abused neither his wife nor children. Rustad granted him the right to see his children unsupervised every other weekend starting Feb. 5, court documents said.

Mast moved to Lewiston sometime in 2020 to be closer to his children, his family said

Brashear-Mast, who was given primary custody, asked the judge this month to overturn Mast’s rights to unsupervised visits, a motion Rustad denied on Feb. 5.

Brashear told police the children were crying and afraid to go with their father, so he “decided at that time he was going to go to Rosauers and kill Mast,” the court documents alleged.

Mast, who was shot at least three times, was taken to a hospital but died.

The children remain in Brashear-Mast’s custody. Her attorney, Jennifer Gooss, did not return a message left by Forum News Service.