BELMOPAN, Fri. Feb. 15, 2019– In July 2016, the shocking murder of Dangriga pastor Llewellyn Lucas made national and regional headline news when his head was found in the back of a pickup truck in Belmopan. Five men would later be charged for Lucas’ murder, but William “Danny” Mason, a man with a number of political connections in the governing United Democratic Party, was fingered as the mastermind behind the disturbing murder.
After more than two years since the accused men were charged with the murder, the Belmopan Supreme Court today set a trial date for the Crown to proceed with its case. Justice Antoinette Moore will be sitting without a jury on March 12 to hear the case against Danny Mason, Terrence Fernandez, Keiron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas, and Ernest Castillo.
In addition to the murder indictment, Mason and his co-accused were also indicted for the kidnapping of a Mennonite couple.
After the hearing today, attorney Herbert Panton, in response to a question regarding an additional update on the kidnapping case, replied: “There was an additional count that was levied against the three accused; I don’t have my indictment here; I can’t recall the charge, but it stems from the same facts emanating from the same events, so it is well within the DPP’s power to add that additional count.”
“And the second matter that happened today was the arraignment on the part of the accused in regard to the kidnapping charge, so that plea was just taken this morning; we don’t anticipate that that will get to trial anytime soon, so certainly, the queue is full as far as this session of the Supreme Court is concerned, so we are looking for the April session or later in the year for that,” Panton further said.
The prosecution evidence will be led by Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who told the court that she expects the trial will last about 3 weeks.
Apart from the beheading, Pastor Lucas’ body was apparently was set on fire, and the prosecution is expected to adduce DNA evidence from samples of purported burnt human flesh allegedly collected from Mason’s farm, which forms a part of the crime scene.