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Danny Mason and his convicted accomplices return to court for kidnapping charges

 Convicted murderer, Danny Mason, and his accomplices were back at the Belmopan Supreme Court. Viewers will recall that Mason and four of his former employees were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 murder of Pastor Lewellyn Lucas. However, today, Mason, Keiron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas, Ernest Castillo, and Ryan Rhaburn returned to court before Justice Francis Cumberbatch for their kidnapping trial. The men stand accused of kidnapping Canadian Lloyd Friesen and his wife Rosie. In 2016, Friesen claimed that Mason had conned him out of three hundred thousand dollars and kidnapped him and his wife when he requested Mason repay him. Friesen also alleged that Mason and his henchmen threatened them and forced him to pay a weekly extortion fee. The trial had commenced in 2020 but was stalled due to three of the men not having legal representation. Today, Attorney for Ashton Vanegas, Norman Rodriguez, gave the media an update on the progress of the case.

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney for Ashton Vanegas: “The murder trial is over and they’ve been convicted but this one is for kidnapping that is why we came before the court today and today’s process should have been two things one the selection of the jury, paneling as they call it, and the trial should have started. It would have started or may have started with a voir dair being before the court but certain concerns were raised in the jury selection process and the judge being the holder of the balance or scale of justice decided to discharged the jury after certain concerns were raised. In his own discretion and wisdom decided to discharge the jury. So we will have to wait until another jury comes to life. The life of the jury ends this month and we can’t use this jury again so we have to wait until I believe it’s September when a new jury’s life will come into play and then we’ll be able to proceed with the trial but in the meantime, the judge along with counsel in chambers decided we could address some other issues through case management and so we’re set for the 20th and 21st to return to court.”

Rodriguez also commented on his client being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Pastor Lewellyn Lucas. He stated that Vanegas and the others are in the process of appealing the sentence.

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney for Ashton Vanegas: “I believe that life behind prison has to do with how you decide to take it. First of all you are in prison so I believe that what my client has done is to just avoid getting into issues with the prison system or those who are behind bars with him and he has accepted that that is his position now and as a result of that he has had no issues when it comes to being in prison but I believe for every person who is incarcerated that is not a place they want to be. But as everything else is in life it’s important for you to be able to settle in where you are. There have been certain little issues as in every process and more so in the legal process but those have been ironed out and we are getting near to the appeal being heard.”