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DNA tests connect three of the accused to the deceased

The Mason trial got interesting today as results of DNA tests were revealed by a US FBI Expert.  The DNA results connect three of the defendants, namely, Ernest Castillo, Terrence and Kieron Fernandez, to the deceased, Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Attorney for Ashton Vanegas is Norman Rodriguez; Bryan Neal is representing Terrence and Kieron Fernandez while Dexter Todd of Guyana is representing William Danny Mason spoke to the media after today’s trial.

Attorney – Dexter Todd: “There were various samples that were taken by your forensic specialist here. Those samples were sent to the U.S. and they were analyzed by the FBI Laboratory technicians who are specialists in the field. All you have transpiring is the findings of the specialists from the FBI lab in relation to the exhibits that were sent.”

Attorney – Norman Rodriguez: “The FBI expert gave evidence today. Some evidence was tendered as to the clothing of some of the accused. Nothing came up yet about my client, I cannot say that it will not come so I will just prepare myself that when it comes, if it does that I will do the regular cross-examining to ensure that evidence does not affect my client the way they would want it to.”

Attorney – Bryan Neal: “The DPP was just telling me a while ago in court that this is the third case that DNA testing has been tried in. DNA is an international standard that is used so that we accept DNA evidence but what we have in Belize. The problem is the collection of samples that are eventually tested so I think that the local authorities need to focus their energy on collecting evidence in a more legally sound manner. DNA is a new and groundbreaking area in Belize so I haven’t had any experience with DNA results so I have to see and verify that what this witness said today can withstand the scrutiny on the law so I will have to do some research on that point.”

Specimen from the crime scene were sent to the FBI lab for analysis.   The Mason trial returns to Belmopan court tomorrow.  Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was beheaded in July 2016 and his head found in a bucket in the pan of a pickup truck belonging to Mason.