Jury convicts Brent Luyster of murder for shooting, killing thre - KPTV - FOX 12

Jury convicts Brent Luyster of murder for shooting, killing three people in Woodland

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Brent Luyster during prior court appearance. (KPTV) Brent Luyster during prior court appearance. (KPTV)
Brent Luyster (Photo released by Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office) Brent Luyster (Photo released by Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office)

A jury Friday morning found a Clark County man guilty of killing his three friends and trying to kill a fourth woman in Woodland.

After the three-week trial, Brent Lusyter, 37, now faces life in prison without parole.

The jury returned the guilty verdict on all charges: Three counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

“Thank God,” said Abia Nunn, sister of victim Joseph Lamar. “It came out. All guilty – all charges – we can finally breathe after a year and a half.”

Lamar, 38, was shot to death outside his Woodland home in July of 2016, along with Luyster’s other friend, 36-year-old Zachary Thompson.

Thompson and Lamar were cousins.

Lamar’s girlfriend, Janell Knight, 43, was found dead by police inside the home.

A fourth victim, Thompson’s fiancee, Breanne Leigh, managed to survive a gunshot wound to the face and drive away from the home for help.

The friends had all been hanging out that night and talking about a separate criminal case Luyster was involved in.

Ultimately, it was Leigh’s damning testimony – telling jurors she clearly remembered Luyster shooting her – that prosecutors and the victims’ families said was critical to proving Luyster’s guilt.

Nunn said it was tense waiting in the courtroom.

“Hearing those words -- it just felt like someone took the tremendous weight off of our shoulders,” Nunn said. “I will remember my brother and my cousin daily. That my brother was my best friend, I’ll never have a day that I don’t remember. But now I can breathe, now I can go back to his grave and tell him it’s done.”

Clark County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Smith told FOX 12 prosecutors are satisfied with the verdict and feel “justice was served.”

Luyster might be the only person who really knows why he killed his friends, but Nunn said she believes, as prosecutors said during the trial, the shootings were related to a separate federal criminal case against Luyster. 

Prosecutors said Luyster felt he was under serious pressure at the time of the murders because he believed he was going to be federally prosecuted in a pending case in another county.

Investigators said Luyster is a white supremacist who committed the murders while out on bail in an assault case. Luyster has a long, violent criminal history.

In February, deputies said the Clark County Jail was put into lockdown as Luyster was caught trying to escape.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4.

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