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THE MASON VERDICT: Family “relieved” at court decision; pastor says it’s “a great day” for Belize

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Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019. 7:11 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: No one more anticipated today’s verdict than the victim’s family, who sought answers as to why he died the way he did.

It fell to Llewellyn Lucas’ niece, Keixa Usher to describe the family’s relief amid enduring sadness.

“I am very happy. Like my mom always said, God is in control and we knew that this would have happened, we were convinced that my uncle would have received justice because of the person that he is…I can’t seem to understand why he died the way he did because he was a really good person. But I know that God has His way with doing everything, and He knows what happened,” she told reporters.

Usher said her mother cried “tears of joy” in court over the verdict and said the family did not know about Lucas’ dealings with his now-convicted killer.

Meanwhile, Pastor Louis Wade, broadcaster and colleague of Pastor Lucas, acknowledged that he had his doubts of a conviction. But he called the result “a good day for justice, it’s a good day for Belize, it’s a good day for Belmopan residents who have been following the case very closely – not just residents living in Belmopan but living all over the world. And five guilty – that’s very good for our justice system.”

It was down to the weight of evidence; the assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for testing of DNA and blood evidence which concerned observers asked for; the Government’s “hands-off” approach; good work from police investigators; and solid prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal.

The prosecution proved, Wade said, that Mason was the mastermind of Lucas’ death: he was an employee lured to his house, where he was kidnapped by his workmen and taken to his farm and his severed head remained in the pick-up, and that “street justice” and court justice saw it the same way.

For the family, Wade commented, “There is just something, even though the person cannot come back, there is just something when you know that those who were responsible for the murder of your relative – that person has been found guilty; it is a balm of its own; it is a medicine of its own; it is a healing of its own.”

Moreover, more of the same level of investigation, prosecution, and conviction, he said, is needed for many Belizeans still awaiting justice in other murder cases.

Finally, who is William “Danny” Mason?

He is, said Wade, “…a conman and a murderer, who worked his way into the Belizean political system; into the Belizean sporting system; into the Belizean Ministry of National Security system and the business community. And he was able to wheel and deal. And this young man, Llewelyn Lucas, got caught up in something bigger than him, but he went on that day to collect his pay for work that he had done, and instead, he ended up dead.”

That Mason so callously ordered the murder is one thing, Wade added, but there are still questions to be answered as to how the man with many aliases wormed his way into the Belizean polity at such a high level.

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