Convicted triple-murderer Brent Luyster sentenced to life in prison without parole

Brent Luyster in court on December 4, 2017 - KATU photo

Brent Luyster, the man convicted of a triple-murder in Woodland, was sentenced to three consecutive sentences of life in prison without parole Friday.

A jury decided that Luyster killed Joseph LaMar, Zachary Thompson and Janell Knight and seriously wounded Breanne Leigh when he shot her in the face on July 16, 2016 in Woodland, Wash.

The defense had filed a motion for a retrial. Luyster’s lawyers cited jury bias as a reason for their motion for a retrial.

Luyster had shaved his head during the latter part of jury deliberations, revealing a tattoo of SS bolts, a neo-Nazi symbol.

Luyster’s attorneys argued that could have influenced the juror’s decisions.

But the judge ruled there was no standing for a retrial and denied the motion.

During Friday's sentencing, Luyster addressed the court and maintained his innocence.

"Everyone believes I've done this crime because Breanne's statement, but no one saw me shoot," he said. "I did not kill those men. That's all I have to say."

He was also sentenced to over 37 years for shooting Leigh.

Luyster does have the option to appeal.

Family of Victims Speaks

A number of victims' family members spoke during Luyster's sentencing. The sole survivor, Breanne Leigh, who for the first time faced Luyster, also spoke. She told him she hopes he lives with this for the rest of his life.

"How could you take their dad, Brent?" she said holding up pictures of the victims' children.

With every statement came more tears from those sitting in the gallery. The families of Thompson, Lamar and Knight were all present in the courtroom. Luysters' mother and brother were there as well.

Some, like Abia Nunn, Lamar's sister, not only wanted the court to see what her brother looked like alive but wanted it to know what it is she and her family go through every day.

"There are times that all I want to do is run to my brother, and I remember I can never do that again. Emotionally, we are shattered," she said.

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