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Mason murder trial comes to City as caution statement thrown out

Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019. 12:38 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The murder trial against William “Danny” Mason, Terrence and Keiron Fernandez, as well as Ashton Vanegas and Ernest Castillo, continues after Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore disallowed a key caution statement made by Castillo.

The trial resumes Monday in Belize City with testimony from other witnesses.

The five are jointly accused of the murder by beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas three years ago.

Castillo’s caution statement, reports say, essentially contains his confession of involvement in the gruesome murder/kidnapping, but his attorney Baja Shoman was able to prove it was given under duress by and to police.

Said Bryan Neal, attorney for Keiron Fernandez, to Channel 5 News: “The Police used force to extract the confession and that made the confession inadmissible and so the confession will not form a part of this case.”

Neal and Mason’s Guyanese counsel Dexter Todd refused to speculate on how the statement might have impacted the case were it admitted, except to say it would not have necessarily let their clients off the hook. “I believe the law is still trite on the issues that caution statement can only be used allegedly by the maker of that statement and would have never really affected any other person. It cannot affect any other person,” Todd explained.

The change of venue to the Old Capital, said Neal, is to allow for some witnesses to testify via Skype, and this could take as much as two weeks. As for his client’s defense, he says it is simple: I didn’t do it, and I had nothing to do with it.

Todd too believes the case will be wrapped up in a few weeks’ time, and says he will not call back any previous witnesses as he believes they did not speak to any essential element of the offense his client is charged with. He is now more concerned with what, if anything, directly implicates his client.

Justice Moore will decide the case alone, without a jury.

 

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