Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Law, People & Places, Trials » Defendants in Mason Kidnapping Case Challenges ID Parade
Sep 15, 2022

Defendants in Mason Kidnapping Case Challenges ID Parade

Case management in the kidnapping trial involving William “Danny” Mason, Ashton Vanegas, Kieron Fernandez,  Ernest Castillo, and Ryan Rhaburn is set to begin with a voir dire. The alleged victims in this case are businessman Lloyd Thiessen and his wife. The men are accused of kidnapping the couple after a business deal with Mason went sour. The Thiessens allege that they gave Mason three hundred thousand dollars to import corn. And, when he did not deliver on his side of the commitment they reportedly confronted him. Furthermore, the Canadian nationals assert that the confrontation led Mason and a group of men to abduct and later release them. But, how well did the couple know the kidnappers to be able to properly recognize them during an identification parade?  News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

William “Danny” Mason, Kieron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas, Ernest Castillo, and Ryan Rhaburn stand accused of kidnapping. All five men were charged in connection with the alleged abduction of businessman Lloyd Thiessen and his wife in the Belmopan area on May thirty-first, 2016. Today, the accused men appeared inside the Belmopan Supreme Court.


Norman Rodriquez

Norman Rodriquez, Attorney At law

“We came to court to participate in what is called a trial within a trial, a void dire in relation to the identification that was done with these five men. A group identification was held and some of the defendants are objecting to that being tendered as a part of the evidence.”


Three of the five suspects, including Kieron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas, and Ernest Castillo are challenging the procedures employed in the execution of an identification parade, in which the alleged victims identified them as their kidnappers. The couple reportedly knew Mason and Rhaburn prior to the alleged kidnapping, but vaguely described the other three.


Norman Rodriquez

“They are saying certain things, which I will personally not reveal this time, but that the process that was followed that there were errors in it, and as a result they don’t want the identification to be tendered into evidence. Because, if they are successful then it may mean that the case against those men is finished. Defense attorneys will look for way to either weaken or put an end to the prosecution’s case. That is why, if we are successful in this, the case against some of our clients may end. There will be other evidence, but if you are not allowed to identify the person in court which is called doc identification then it means you don’t have a defendant against who you are bringing any case at all.”


Those proceedings were scheduled to be carried out this morning, but the matter had to be adjourned until the end of November, due to the absence of one of the defense attorneys.  Mason, Fernandez, Vanegas, and Castillo are already serving life sentences for the 2016 murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Rhaburn is currently out on bail for the kidnapping charge. The convicted felons were under heavy police guard while in Belmopan. They were transported to and from the court house inside a secure police van. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed