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Jun 18, 2019

Mason’s Trial Adjourned

William Danny Mason’s murder trial has been adjourned until Monday. Today, Mason’s lawyer was a no-show for what should have been the restart of the trial in the Belmopan Supreme Court. The trial was set to open at nine this morning but it was pushed back to one in the afternoon, but it still didn’t happen. The problem? Well, there are now five new attorneys, including Mason’s, who lives out of the country, and getting their schedules in sync has created some issues pushing back the trial date.   As we’ve reported, Mason had to find a new attorney after Herbert Panton and Rachel Montejo stepped aside almost three months ago. Since then, Mason has hired attorney Dexter Todd from Guyana and the other four accused all received court appointed attorneys. The trial was set to begin before Justice Antoinette Moore, but because the court was unable to reach Todd, who reportedly didn’t inform the court that he would be absent, it was again adjourned to June twenty-fourth. Following the proceedings, attorney Bryan Neal spoke with the press about what transpired in court today.

 

Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal, Attorney for Keiron Fernandez

“We have five accused persons and it is very hard to coordinate five lawyers’ schedules, so we have been having difficulty getting this case restarted.  Mr. Panton was the previous attorney along with Ms Montejo, and five new attorneys were appointed. It has been difficult to get Mr. Todd now – Mr. Mason’s attorney – he is not in country but should be here tonight according to Mr. Mason and then we should proceed on Monday, the trial starts. The court has been very gracious in trying to accommodate us but it is reaching the stage now we want to this matter because this large gulf of time between when it was postponed and when they are trying to start to it again could have some issues in terms of a fair trial defendants and we don’t want that. So, we are fighting to get it started Monday hopefully it does.”

 

Reporter

“And in this case, there is no way they could have continued with the case without the attorneys or maybe there is a replacement? There is no way it could have continued?”

 

Bryan Neal

“They are charged with murder which is one of the most serious charges you can be charged with. In our system, that is the only charge where a court will not proceed unless having a representative, only in limited instances as far as my research can guide me. But, murder charges, no, because the consequences if convicted are very grave.”

 

Reporter

“Was there any other issues in terms of preparation; paper work and all of that?”

 

Bryan Neal

“One of the accused, I can’t recall his name, says that the confession statement that he gave to the police was not voluntarily given. So, what they will have to do is to do a voir dire and they will have to determine on the voir dire whether the caution statement was voluntarily given in accordance with section ninety, I believe, of the evidence act.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, just for clarity, so you proceed on Monday with the voir dire?”

 

Bryan Neal, Attorney for Keiron Fernandez

“That’s right and then the trial. Once the voir dire is determined then the trial resumes on the substantive matter before the court.”

 

As we told you just now, William Danny Mason is represented by Dexter Todd. The other four men are accused Terence Fernandez who is represented by Iliana Swift, Ashton Vanegas is represented by Norman Rodriguez, Keiron Fernandez is represented by Bryan Neal, and Ernest Castillo is represented by Baja Shoman. The trial has been set to resume on Monday, June twenty-fourth.


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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