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Mar 13, 2019

Police Officers Testify to Finding Severed Head of Pastor Lue

New details were revealed today in day two of the Danny Mason trial. Mason and four others are facing murder charges for the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and the kidnapping David Dodd and Alvis Wright in 2016 in Belmopan. Today, four witnesses were called and except for Pastor Richard Smith, all others gave Skype interviews. Pastor Smith was called by Mason via telephone asking him to call off the police that were searching his vehicle where the head of Lucas was found in a bucket. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has details from the Belmopan Supreme Court.

 

Richard Smith

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

What’s up with these police, Pastor?”  Those were among the last words spoken by accused murderer William “Danny” Mason to Richard Smith on the night of July 15th, 2016, shortly before being taken into custody.  Under oath, Smith, a Christian minister for the past thirty-two years, told the court that Mason rang him on his cell phone sometime around 8:30 p.m., under the presumption that he was the one who called the cops and had them conduct a search on Mason and his accomplices at Sancho’s Bar, formerly Barrio Fino, on the night in question.  During that conversation, Mason reportedly told Smith, quote, Can you tell the police that you and I are okay?, unquote.  Shortly thereafter, the line went dead.

Pastor Richard Smith, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, has been the only witness thus far to testify in person, in open court, against Mason and his alleged henchmen.  When asked by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal if he was familiar with the number that the call was placed from, Smith responded that he had Mason’s number was stored in his cell phone by name and that he was well acquainted with Mason’s voice.  That conversation succeeded a visit to Mason’s Intelco Hill residence earlier that day during which Smith had also attempted to collect monies owed to him.  While at the property, Smith reportedly encountered brothers Terrence and Keiron Fernandez.  Both men are also being tried along with Mason and two others for the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas which allegedly took place at Mason’s ranch on that very day.

Llewellyn Lucas

According to Smith, he had done some work for the businessman but was experiencing problems collecting payment.  From the dock, Smith was able to positively identify the Fernandez brothers, as well as Mason.  Of particular interest is that the phone call was made to Smith moments before Belmopan police discovered the severed head of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas inside a pigtail bucket in the pan of his Ford F150 pickup.  In his testimony, Smith admitted that Mason told him via phone, “Police said you told them to search me.”

Smith was the second of four witnesses who took the stand today.  The first was Francisco Yatz, a former employee of Mason who was on the property at the time of Lucas’ abduction.  Like David Dodd and Magdalena Teul before him, he testified via Skype.  At the start of the murder trial on Tuesday, DPP Vidal informed Justice Antoinette Moore that there will be as many as thirty-seven witnesses called to testify in the case against Mason, the Fernandez siblings, Ashton Vanegas and Ernest Castillo.  Later this evening, officers Solomon Westby and Ryan Martinez also testified.  In court, Westby was able to place the accused men at the location where they were socializing.  Martinez, on the other hand, testified that he led a search for drugs and illegal firearms on the men, however, nothing was found on them.  That’s when an attempt was made to search the vehicle.  When they could not get inside, a perimeter was reportedly formed around it while Mason was escorted to his home to retrieve a set of keys.  Those keys failed to open the pickup truck and the flatbed cover had to be pried open, subsequently revealing the bucket containing the lopped off head Llewellyn Lucas. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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