Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Five charged in Belize with murder of pastor who was decapitated

Published:Wednesday | July 20, 2016 | 11:10 AM
William Mason (center) along with four other accused in the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas.

BELMOPAN, Belize, Jul 20 (CMC):
Five men, including a Guyanese-Canadian national, will re-appear in court on September 14 in connection with the murder of 47-year-old pastor, Llewellyn Lucas, whose head was discovered in a vehicle driven by the foreign national over the weekend.

The Guyanese-Canadian businessman William Mason, along with Ernest Castillo, 23; Keron Fernandez, 29; Ashton Vanegas, 29 and 30-year-old Terence Fernandez have been slapped with murder, and conspiracy to murder charges; kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap.

They have been remanded into custody until September 14.

Police say that the torso of the pastor was disposed of at a farm owned by Mason near Mile 32 on the Western Highway.

There has been speculation that the pastor had gone to the farm last Friday reportedly as an agent of a couple to collect a debt on behalf of the two people.

Prosecutor and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, said that the charge of murder and conspiracy to commit murder occurred in the Belize Judicial District and as a result the matter will be heard in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court.

He said as it relates to the charges of kidnapping and the conspiracy to kidnap, the Chief Magistrate allowed for the arraignment and referred the matter to Belmopan.

Attorney Herbert Panton, who appeared on behalf of Mason and the other accused men, said that the basis of his submission were hinged on two factors.

“There were two fundamental tenets to our submissions. One is that this matter was already adjudicated on, so if you bring the same facts before the courts it amounts to forum shopping, and basically the same facts came before the court with a little addition here and there that did not in any way change the nature of the, tenuous nature of the facts.

“Secondly, what ought to happen is that the prosecution ought to be given their 14 days to get all their facts together …,” he said, arguing that there was a lack of proof to substantiate the charges.