General — 09 February 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
William Danny Mason and co-defendants taken to  court for kidnapping case

BELMOPAN, Thurs. Feb. 7, 2019– Last May, the Senior Magistrate in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, Merlene Moody, conducted a preliminary inquiry and ruled that there was sufficient evidence to commit William Danny Mason and his four co-accused to stand trial in the Supreme Court on kidnapping charges.

Yesterday, Wednesday, under heavy police escort, Mason and his co-accused were transported to the Belmopan Supreme Court.

Police charged Mason along with Ernest Castillo, Keron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas and Ryan Rhaburn for the May 2016 kidnapping of Mennonite businessman Lloyd Thiessen and his wife.

Mason and his co-defendants are also facing another set of charges for the kidnapping of David Dodd.

Thiessen and his wife fled from Belize to Canada following the kidnapping, but returned to the country to cooperate with police investigators.

In addition to the kidnapping charges, Mason and the others are also on remand on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the beheading of Dangriga pastor, Llewellyn Lucas, which occurred in July 2016.

Lucas’ head was found inside a bucket in the pan of a pickup truck belonging to Mason, in the Belmopan area.

Police investigations suggest that Lucas was kidnapped by Mason’s henchmen and taken to Mason’s farm in the vicinity of Mile 31 on the George Price Highway. After he was beheaded, his body was apparently set on fire. DNA samples of suspected human flesh were sent outside the country for confirmation.

The kidnapping case has been adjourned at the request of attorney Herbert Panton, who is representing Mason.

Although the men were committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court since February 2017, the case has still not made it onto the court’s calendar.

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