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Jan 22, 2020

No Lawyer for Danny Mason in Kidnapping Case

William ‘Danny’ Mason

Convicted murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason and four other men who carried out the beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, as well as the alleged abduction of David Dodd, await sentencing for that capital offense at the Belize Central Prison.  Their sentencing is expected to take place sometime in March.   This morning, the men appeared before Justice Francis Cumberbatch in the Belmopan Supreme Court for case management related to the kidnapping case they are all facing.  At the start of the session, Mason and Ernest Castillo were informed by the judge that Guyanese attorney Dexter Todd had recused himself from the matter, leaving them unrepresented.  Likewise, Keiron Fernandez showed up to court without a lawyer but was given the option to represent himself going forward.  Another individual, Ryan Rhaburn, who is out on the same kidnapping charge, appeared in the presence of Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson. On adjournment, attorney Norman Rodriguez summarized today’s proceedings.


Norman Rodriguez

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney for Ashton Vanegas

“We came for a case management and one attorney recused himself for Mr. Mason and Ernest Castillo, and the other defendant Keiron Fernandez also had no attorney at this time.  So the judge and the court had no option but to adjourn the matter to give them an opportunity to secure legal counsel or legal representation and that is what basically happened this morning.  We came to court expecting to do the case management conference but it did not happen for those reasons.”


Isani Cayetano

“Now my understanding is that Mr. Mason, Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Castillo are seeking time to be able to retain new counsel and they’re looking at March, but the Director of Public Prosecutions seem to have had an issue in respect of another attorney who was present, whose name hadn’t been struck off from that particular case.  Can you explain that to us?”


Norman Rodriguez

“Two attorneys represented Mr. Mason, or at least prior to today were on record to represent Mr. Mason and Mr. Castillo.  One was lead counsel and the other was junior counsel.  Naturally if the lead counsel removes himself, the junior counsel, well, is no longer on record.  So that is basically what happened and the D.P.P. wanted clarification.  She got clarification and we move forward to March.”


Isani Cayetano

“We understand that the sentencing has been reserved for March, how does this new development today affect that particular timeline going into March?”


Norman Rodriguez

“I don’t see it having any effect on that timeline, I mean it’s two different matters.  The only thing where it might have some, I don’t want to use the word effect, but where it may come into some sort of consideration is if you have a jury sitting and then you have a sentence, but I think that effect has already taken place and we just have to proceed.  But as to your question, it has no effect on the timeline.”

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