Man guilty of three Woodland murders denied new trial, sentenced - KPTV - FOX 12

Man guilty of three Woodland murders denied new trial, sentenced to life in prison

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Brent Luyster in court earlier this month (KPTV) Brent Luyster in court earlier this month (KPTV)
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A man guilty of murdering three people in Woodland will not receive a new trial and he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A judge denied a motion Friday to grant a new trial for 37-year-old Brent Luyster. After that decision, Luyster was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.  

Luyster’s lawyers announced their intentions to seek a new trial during a scheduled sentencing hearing on Dec. 4. They stated Luyster had shaved his head toward the end of the trial, which could have influenced the jury’s decision to convict him.

Luyster was found guilty on three counts of aggravated murder, as well as charges of attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon in November.

Luyster shot and killed Janell Renee Knight, 43, and Joseph Mark Lamar, 38, both of Woodland, and Zachary David Thompson, 36, of Camas, in July 2016 in Woodland.

He also shot Breanne Leigh in the face, but she survived and testified against Luyster in court.

Investigators said Luyster is a white supremacist covered in Nazi tattoos who committed the murders while out on bail in an assault case.

Deputies said Luyster was caught trying to escape from jail after his arrest.  

Family members of the victims expressed their anger when Luyster’s sentencing was delayed for a possible new trial. When the judge announced the decision to uphold the convictions Friday, family members in court were heard saying, “Thank God.”

Family members also delivered impact statements Friday, asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence for Luyster.

Luyster spoke in court and maintained his innocence, saying, “I don’t know how I was convicted of this.”

Along with three life sentences for the murder convictions, Luyster was also sentenced to an additional 39 years in prison for his additional charges. 

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