The trial involving William Danny Mason and his co-accused continued today where retired Police Officer, Russel Blackett, was re-called to the witness stand where he was cross examined by Defense Councils. Following his cross examination, Lead Investigator, Corporal Holly Vasquez was called to the witness stand where he began his testimony by telling the court that he was following a robbery investigation at the income tax department on July 15th. He told the court that his suspects were 4 male persons of creole descent from roaring creek who were driving in a black vehicle and that such information led him to Sancho’s bar where he came across four creole male decent persons and a black Ford F150.
Vasquez says he approached the men and asked for the driver of the vehicle where he was pointed in the direction of Danny Mason upon which Vasquez introduced himself and informed Mason that a search would be conducted on the vehicle. Mason claimed he did not have the car keys in his possession. Vasquez told the court that while he requested that his officers conduct a search on the 4 male persons, they began to act boisterous. Vasquez then indicated to Mason once more that a search would conduct a search.
Upon making such request the 4 male persons created a barricade and prevented Vasquez from searching the vehicle. Vasquez says he called for backup where two vehicles from the MIT arrived and detained the four suspects for disorderly conduct and also pending robbery investigation. When asked for the keys to the vehicle once more, Mason indicated that he had spare keys at home and while he was escorted to retrieve them, it was handed over by a Caucasian woman at the front gate.
Upon returning, attempts were made to open the vehicle upon which Mason said that he brought the wrong set of keys. A mechanic was called in to unlock the vehicle but his attempts were fruitless. Upon making further checks to the rear end of the vehicle with Mason by his side Vasquez attempted to open the cover of the pan by turning a nob. While his attempt was successful, he then spotted a light inside the pan and observed a black bucket and upon peering he observed what appeared to be a human head with duct tape from the mouth to the lower chin, along with and a blue bandana around the neck.
Vasquez made Mason aware of his discovery upon which Mason indicated that he does not know what it is. Mason was then cautioned and detained where he then called for a lawyer. Vasquez told the court that he also observed a roll of duct tape, a yellow gas nossel, two metal pipes and a white sheet inside the pan of the truck. Scenes of crime personnel arrived on the scene immediately after and began processing the scene. The driver’s side glass of Mason’s vehicle was broken upon the request of Vasquez he discovered a loaded 9 mm magazine, a shot gun, cellular phones, and two additional 9 mm magazines.
Mason along with the vehicle was escorted to the Belmopan police station. Vasquez took the head to Western Regional Hospital along with Scene of Crime Technician. Vasquez also testified that he observed blood on Ernest Castillo's pants. As a result he requested a space in the SOC office to have the clothing of the accused removed. Vasquez later learnt that Mason was not with the four, but that he had requested to see Blackett. Vasquez retrieved Mason from Blackett’s office and retrieved his clothing as well. Later that morning, according to Vasquez, Blackett requested that three of the detainees be transported to San Ignacio. Vasquez took Mason to see Blackett a second time upon request and approval by Blackett. Before being taken off the stand, Vasquez provided additional facts surrounding the case.
Today Defense attorneys Norman Rodriguez and Brian Neal were caught outside the courtroom where they spoke about the outcome of today’s session.
Norman Rodriguez – Attorney At Law
“Today its basically what we have been doing all along the witnesses come and they give their evidence, they examined and we haven’t had the opportunity to cross examine any of the two witnesses yes we did cross examine one of them the officer who was in charge, not in charged of the investigation the then deputy Commissioner of Police and right now we looking at the other witness, the investigating officer giving evidence and then we will have a chance to cross examine on that.”
“What are some of the things he has presented to the court that caught your attention Sir?
Norman Rodriguez – Attorney At Law
“Again, those are things that I will not divulge because if I do at this time then I will go ahead of myself and I may not get a chance to ask those questions since the crown is still examining that person.”
Cross examination in court continues tomorrow.