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Sep 12, 2019

Crocodile Tears or Sincere Grief Over the Loss of a Dearly Beheaded Friend?

William “Danny” Mason had his day in court today. Mason chose to give testimony from the dock on the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas who was beheaded in July 2016.  Mason and four other men are facing murder charges, following the discovery of the pastor’s head in a bucket at the back of his pickup truck parked outside of a bar in Belmopan. So far arguments have been presented on behalf of Ashton Vanegas, Terrence Fernandez, Ernest Castillo and Keiron Fernandez. All eyes were on Mason today as it is believed he was the mastermind in the murder. Mason, who was well acquainted with the pastor, choked up and denied that he had anything to do with the gruesome murder. To hear it from Mason, he has always helped people so much so that he paid for medication for the pastor’s ailing mother. He testified for about an hour and a half after which the case was adjourned. Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This morning from the dock, accused murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason gave a lengthy statement detailing the night he was taken into custody by Belmopan police, following a search of his vehicle outside of an establishment formerly known as Barrio Fino.   The protracted account of what transpired was vivid, describing to the best of his recollection everything that took place during the search.  Mason’s testimony wasn’t given under oath and was the second un-sworn statement to be provided during the trial.

 

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney

Norman Rodriguez

“Mr. Mason began his defense and at first he was not going to call any witness, but he will call one witness now and he basically gave an un-sworn statement from the dock.”

 

During his time on the stand, Mason also explained his friendship with Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, whose severed head was found in the pan of his Ford F150 pickup on the night of July eighteenth, 2016.  Mason described himself to the court as a businessman who cares for people, including Lucas whom he attested to having the utmost respect for as someone dear to him.  In that moment, if for a brief second, Mason became emotional.  His fleeting display of sentiment over the loss of a close friend was met with smirks across the room.  The Director of Public Prosecutions, nonetheless, has laid bare a mountain of evidence against Mason and his alleged accomplices.

 

Reporter

“The DPP has provided volumes of evidence against these five accused persons, but the two people who have given a defense from the dock haven’t addressed any of those evidence.  Isn’t that a dangerous course of action?”

 

Norman Rodriguez

“I would not say that they have not you know, because any statement given from the dock the accused would have had a chance to consult with counsel and the counsel will not tell the accused what to say, but based on the discussion that they have they will decide what needs to be said and maybe it is from this that has emerged the reason why they need to call a witness.  But I need to add one little thing here.  You stated that the DPP has given volume of evidence and we agree.  Kudos to the DPP in any case where they bring out the evidence that they feel that they need to.  But again, I say, that the defense will provide what evidence it needs to in relation to the case that they believe that they need to.  I will not say made out against them, but what they believe that they need to respond to.”

 

That individual who will be called to take the stand is an employee of the United States Embassy.  He is Tim Reid who was listed as Assistant Regional Security Officer for Investigations based in Belmopan.

 

Reporter

“Explain to us, after Mr. Mason’s witness comes to testify through whatever mode that happens, what’s the next step in terms of the conclusion and wrapping up of this case?”

 

Norman Rodriguez

“There will be the closing then the decision  and since Mr. Mason is calling a witness then he will do his closing, the DPP will do her closing in relation to that and also to the case against the other four accused and then the other four who gave dock statements or remained silent, they will give their closing.  Then, of course, the judge, as the judge of the facts and the jury itself will give the decision.”

 

The matter resumes on Friday morning, however, it is likely that the case will be adjourned for a period of up to six weeks while the court sorts out Reid’s eligibility and means through which he will testify.

 

Isani Cayetano reporting 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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