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Nov 9, 2016

Danny Mason & Company Back in Court

William “Danny” Mason

William “Danny” Mason was transported from the Hattieville prison and whisked through the back of the courtroom this morning. Mason and a group of men from Camalote and Roaring Creek Hattieville are accused with the horrific beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lue in July of this year. Last week Mason, who once enjoyed the company of ministers and political operatives, was removed from the death row section of the prison and placed in an isolated area referred to as the hole following a fall-out with prison authorities.  This morning’s trip to the court was under heavy police guard. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

This morning, William “Danny” Mason et al under heavy guard by security forces from the Gang Suppression Unit, initially evaded our cameras and were taken into the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where their murder trial case was adjourned to January eighteenth. Attorney Dickie Bradley now represents Mason. His alleged accomplices: Ashton Vanegas of Camalote Village and brothers Keiron Fernandez and Terrence Fernandez as well as Ernest Henry Castillo, all of Roaring Creek Village also appeared in court. The men are accused of the kidnapping and beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and the kidnapping of businessman David Dodd; and conspiracy to commit murder. Mason’s wife, Melissa Ferguson, who is currently on bail for conspiracy to kidnapping, joined them today in court.

 

Dickie Bradley

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for William “Danny” Mason et al

“Today was only an adjourned date and what was now agreed is that the prosecution, led by former suspended now reinstated Prosecutor Chester Williams, ACP, is that there will be partial disclosure. We discussed this already with the Chief Magistrate and an order was made that the prosecution is to provide partial disclosure in relation to the matter. Full disclosure by the time we have case management which will be held on the eighteenth day of January next year.”

 

The prosecution has just over two months to provide full disclosure to the attorney for the defendants before a preliminary inquiry on February first, 2017. But will all relevant evidence be ready for submissions? Prosecutor and Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says yes, despite awaiting the results of a DNA test.

 

ACP Chester Williams, Prosecutor

“We are moving ahead with the matter. We are still awaiting certain things that we have sent abroad for testing and as soon as those evidence that they have sent abroad for testing, the D.P.P. will then be able to have a more better appreciation of the file and then we will move forward from there.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, is this case receiving special consideration, special treatment, because we have heard for example that international investigators might also be recruited?”

 

Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams

“I cannot speak to that; I know I am handling the matter with William Mason in relation to charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy. That’s the matter that I am dealing with today. In respect to any special investigator that’s a matter that will be dealt with the AG Ministry and probably the D.P.P. office.”

 

Reporter

“Are you confident that you will be able to have the full disclosure on time? We know that the DNA testing is very expensive; it has always been a bridge too far for the Belize Police Department.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“We are hoping that by the date of case management, we can have the results for those things we have sent abroad. But if we do not have it, then the law does make provision at the PI, the prosecution can give notice of additional evidence to the defense and we should still be able to move forward from there.”

 

At the preliminary inquiry, and based on what is disclosed, the Chief Magistrate will determine if the accused will be committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court. So following the house cleaning today, Attorney Bradley says that other charges against his clients will be dealt with in the Belmopan jurisdiction.

 

Dickie Bradley

“In relation to the allegation that there was some attempt to kidnap or kidnap a Mennonite, that supposedly took place in the Belmopan jurisdiction and so that remains in Belmopan. So today is to say this is an adjourned date, but when we come back to court, we need to know what is happening. So today, a decision was made by the Chief Magistrate to say to the prosecution, make the disclosure available.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “Danny Mason & Company Back in Court”

  1. Mike G. says:

    Chester up against Dickie . . . sorry Chester, you ain’t got a chance! And the PD will surely screw up the evidence as usual. Mason will walk and the conviction rate will continue to slide. It is what it is.

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