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Jul 30, 2020

Lucas’ Family Gets Justice; but Convicted Murderers to Appeal Decision

Llewellyn Lucas

The heinous murder in July 2016 and the subsequent trial of the five men grabbed national attention.  William “Danny” Mason was a highly connected man in Belmopan, who socialized with politicians and the law.  Justice Moore found the crime reprehensible and wants to send a message to society.  The pastor was killed, beheaded and his body burnt. While the family can now move on, the motive for the crime behoves them. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody.


Thisbe Usher

Thisbe Usher, Sister of Deceased

“I can speak on behalf of my mother and my siblings, extended family and the friends of Lue that we are satisfied. Nothing about the entire ordeal would allow us to be happy, but I can certainly say that we are satisfied with the sentence that has been delivered today.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Justice for Pastor Lue – the family and friends as well as the community, on whom the forty-six-year-old had had an impact, are finding closure following the decision by Justice Antoinette Moore to sentence William “Danny” Mason, Ernest Castillo, Ashton Vanegas and siblings Keiron and Terrence Fernandez to life in prison.  During the mitigation hearings, three victim impact statements were submitted by the Director of Public Prosecutions: Richard Smith, Juanita Lewis and Thisbe Usher, the sister of Pastor Lucas. She was constant in court during the course of the trial in the Belmopan Supreme Court. Usher described the trauma on the family.


Thisbe Usher

“The impact has been large and wide. My mother, being an elderly person, she relives this murder of her son; whenever there is a death in her family, she keeps speaking of Lue and his head being found in a bucket full of blood. For myself, my children, we have definitely experienced grief which I cannot find the words to explain. But certainly it has been extremely difficult.”


The brutality of the incident has plagued the minds of many – the details similar to the script of a horror movie. The evidence detailed that Pastor Lue had been kidnapped and forced into Mason’s pickup truck. He was killed, beheaded, his body burnt and his severed head discovered in a bucket in the same truck later that day when police intercepted the men at a bar in Belmopan. DNA tests also proved that blood samples taken from clothing were positively identified as the pastor’s.  Usher says that, in a sense, the family is getting closure, even though the motive for his killing is still unknown.


Thisbe Usher

“It does bring closure at this point. In the sentencing today, while the judge said that the burnt remains were for a human, before today, we have never been told about the body and what had happened to the body. So at least now I can say that well to a certain extent that it has been confirmed that his body was burnt as we assumed. So it does indeed give a sense of closure to the family.”


The convicts have advised the defense attorneys that they are dissatisfied with the decision of the court.


Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal, Attorney-at-law

“I understand from the clients that they are dissatisfied with both the conviction and the sentence and they will shortly lodge an appeal and have lodged an appeal in terms of their conviction already.”



“Sir is that why your clients did not accept any culpability in their statements; that they maintain their innocence and will take that to appeal?”


Bryan Neal

“That is so. You raise a good point because in mitigation, you are walking a very tight rope. On one hand, you are asking the court to be merciful because you feel certain things were not considered, but on the other hand, you have to acknowledge that you did something that you are saying that you have to appeal that you didn’t do. So it is a very difficult, tight rope to walk.”


The convicted murderers now have a twenty-one-day period in which they can appeal the decision of Justice Antoinette Moore.


Norman Rodriguez

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney-at-law

“My client has indicated that he wants to appeal. I believe that he should still take a little time to reflect on what has happened here and when he makes his final decision, he has the twenty-one days to file that notice and that is what we will do if that is his instructions to me.”


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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