Ashley Mason, the Florida woman involved in an altercation that left Burger King employee Desmond Joshua Jr. dead in an Orlando fast food restaurant parking lot, has been arrested on murder charges.
Mason, 31, was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 5, and charged with principal to first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm for Joshua’s Aug. 1 slaying. Kelvis Rodriguez-Tormes, Mason’s boyfriend and the man alleged to have shot Joshua, already was being held on three charges, including first-degree murder with a firearm, destruction of evidence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mason’s arrest warrant provided additional details about the couple’s confrontation with Joshua. The feud started around 7 p.m. on Aug. 1 after Joshua exchanged words with Mason and her daughter at the Orlando Burger King where he worked. Mason was reportedly upset about the wait time for her order in the drive-thru and expressed her grievance by shouting at the staff and banging on the restaurant’s windows. During an interview with investigators, her 13-year-old daughter admitted she got out of her mother’s car to throw a drink at the drive-thru window. An argument ensued and both sides exchanged threats, according to the teen.
The girl told investigators her mother threatened to “call my man up here,” after Joshua threatened to “beat her ass.” He reportedly told them, “call him up, I’ll fight him up front.”
Another witness told investigators Mason told Joshua she was going to “get my husband to come shoot you.”
Mason was given a $40 refund before she drove off. Mason and her daughter returned with Rodriguez-Tormes in tow about 15 minutes later. He demanded Joshua come outside for a fight. Joshua pulled everything out of his pockets and left the restaurant.
The men began to fight, Mason’s warrant states, and cellphone video captured Rodriguez-Tormes telling his girlfriend — she would later clarify in court that he was not her husband — to “bust him if he touches me!” During the scuffle, Rodriguez-Tormes placed Joshua in a headlock. One witness told detectives it looked “like he was trying to break his neck.”
Another employee broke up the physical fight, but the altercation wasn’t over. Multiple witnesses stated Mason handed Rodriguez-Tormes a handgun and he threatened Joshua moments before he shot him in the chest. One bystander told detectives the daughter handed the gun to her mother before it was passed to Rodriguez-Tormes. The girl told investigators Rodriguez-Tormes placed the gun in her mom’s car when they met up at the Burger King because “he didn’t want anything to happen.”
Mason came back for it during the fistfight. Before Joshua was shot, according to the warrant, Mason pointed the gun at other people on the scene.
“Based on the various witness testimony from the Burger King Employees, Ashley Mason armed herself with the handgun and pointed it in the direction of the physical fight between Kelvis Rodriguez and Desmond Joshua, Jr. and the people around it,” the document read. “This action caused several bystanders to run due to fear of the firearm.”
Rodriguez-Tormes was given the gun as he got into his truck and told Joshua to back away before shooting him in the chest. After firing the shot, Rodriguez-Tormes drove off. Joshua was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He had been employed with Burger King for two days.
After the shooting, Mason, Rodriguez-Tormes and their daughter went home, the arrest documents stated. They were soon joined by Diane Mason, Ashley Mason’s mother. Rodriguez-Tormes told investigators he took Mason’s mother’s car and went to an undisclosed location to dispose of the gun used to shoot Joshua.
“Kelvis Rodriguez fled to his home, took his mother-in-law’s Honda Pilot, and ‘destroyed’ the gun. Kelvis Rodriguez refused to provide the location of the firearm and stated no one would find it and it could no longer be used,” the affidavit states.
Rodriguez-Tormes and Mason are being held without bond.