Son refuses to testify in father's triple murder trial
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The son of a man accused of killing three people in Woodland, Wash. last summer refused to testify Wednesday in his father’s murder trial.
Brent Luyster is facing a slew of charges as the suspect in the shooting at a rural Woodland home on July 15, 2016.
Joseph Mark LaMar, Zachary David Thompson and Janell Renee Knight were pronounced dead at the scene, while a fourth victim, Breanne Leigh, survived with a gunshot wound in her face.
According to investigators, Luyster’s son was at the home when the shooting took place. He briefly took the stand before refusing to answer questions from the prosecution.
The boy’s lawyer stated he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He is now being held in contempt of court. Officials said he’s already at a juvenile detention center for something unrelated to his father’s case.
After deputies escorted the boy out of the courtroom, jurors heard from his mother. She said he tried to commit suicide after the shootings, and that he still fears for the lives of his family members – as well as his own.
Investigators say Andrea Sibley, Luyster’s then girlfriend, drove the father and son away from the house. She testified Wednesday that she heard “back-to-back” gunshots before they got into her car.
Defense attorneys tried to stop her from being called into court on the grounds of spousal immunity, however last month a judge ruled she was not legally married to Luyster and the rule didn’t apply.
Luyster’s son is expected to be brought back into court tomorrow.