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Jul 26, 2019

Pathologist Takes the Stand in the Murder Trial of Danny Mason and Co-Accused Men

The murder trial of William “Danny” Mason continued in the courtroom of Justice Antoinette Moore in the Belmopan Supreme Court. Mason and four other men, accused with the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, are escorted in handcuffs to the court at every session.  Today was no different as they arrived with heavy police escort.  So far this week, the F.B.I. and local forensic experts have given expert testimonies.  When the session resumed today, on the stand were forensic witnesses and pathologist Mario Estradaban who conducted an autopsy on the remains of Lucas, three years ago. News Five’s Duane Moody has a report of what transpired in court.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was another full day of proceedings inside the Supreme Court room of Justice Antoinette Moore as the murder trial of William “Danny” Mason and four accused murderers continues. In the morning session, four forensic witnesses for the crown took the stand; defense attorney, Norman Rodriguez sat in for colleagues Bryan Neal and Dexter Todd.


Norman Rodriguez, Attorney

“I would want to believe that the crown’s case is winding down. We did four witnesses this morning and they basically sort of forensic witnesses—the ones who transported the evidence to and from the F.B.I. headquarters in Georgia. Tthey came and gave evidence. There was really no cross because the defense has seen that the evidence has been admitted already and these witnesses came after the fact. And there was one other witness who came and gave evidence as to the purchasing of sim cards; was crossed briefly and that is what we had this morning.”


The only witness for the afternoon session was pathologist Doctor Mario Estradabran, who performed the autopsy on the remains recovered from the murder. The evidence presented to the court, including the results of the post-mortem, was ventilated.


Norman Rodriguez

Norman Rodriguez

“My anticipation is to hear what the witness has to say and if there is any need to cross, I cross. That’s my anticipation; just to be ready to do my part as the defense attorney for my client. I prefer not to get too deep into the evidence and try to pre-empt what may happen. I think it is the safest way to play it as a defense attorney—not only for the sake of the person I represent and those who are court charged, but simply in the interest of justice. We don’t want to run ahead of the court of the judge; we just want to go along respectfully and according to the protocols that we should follow.”


Even though Rodriguez believes that the crown is winding down its case, it is not known how longer the trial proceedings will continue. He says, however, that he has at least one witness that will be recalled for cross-examination.


Norman Rodriguez

“I have one witness that I have indicated to the court whom I will call back to do cross-examination. As to what I will cross on, I will not get into that. But I am doing so because I believe that there are important parts of the evidence that I need to test and I believe that that is important for my client’s defense.”


But will there be a locus for this high profile murder case? It is believed that an application will be made to the court for a visit to Mason’s ranch near mile thirty on the George Price Highway. This is where the heinous crime was purportedly carried out and where, according to the evidence submitted, the murder weapon as well as the headless body of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was discovered. Attorney Norman Rodriguez says that the locus would help them prepare for a better defense.


Norman Rodriguez

“We have to present a defense. At this point, it doesn’t help us much in cross examination, but if we had seen the need for us to go back there before, then we would have made the application to the court and the judge would have had that to consider. But it can assist us in us preparing for a better defense.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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