Luyster’s son again refuses to testify

13-year-old held in contempt of court a second straight day

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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Brent Luyster Jr. once again refused to testify Thursday in his father’s triple aggravated murder trial in Clark County Superior Court, leaving the 13-year-old boy in contempt of court.

The boy reportedly witnessed the July 15, 2016, shooting in which Brent Luyster Sr. allegedly killed Joseph Mark LaMar, 38; LaMar’s partner, Janell Renee Knight, 43; and Zachary David Thompson, 36. Thompson’s partner, Breanne Leigh, then 32, was also wounded.

Luyster Jr.’s attorney, Michael Borge, implored Judge Robert Lewis not to require the boy to come to court to voice his refusal. He told the judge that the boy’s doctor wrote a letter expressing concern about the impact bringing him to court would have on him.

Borge made the request away from the presence of the jury.

Lewis held Luyster Jr. in contempt Wednesday — after he first refused to testify on behalf of the prosecution’s case — which prompted an explosive outburst from the boy.

Luyster Jr. jumped up out of his seat on the witness stand and screamed and cursed at the judge. He was escorted from the courtroom in tears.

The jury was not present during the outburst.

Luyster Jr. is being held in Clark County juvenile detention until he follows the court’s order. He was transported to Clark County, for the purpose of testifying, from a juvenile facility, where he is reportedly serving time in an unrelated case.

Borge said he spoke with Luyster Jr., and they discussed Borge coming in the boy’s place. If Luyster Jr. agrees to waive attorney-client privilege, Borge can share with the court the boy’s feelings about testifying.

Lewis asked Borge if Luyster Jr. understands that he can be purged of the contempt offense if he agrees to testify. Borge said he does understand but still refuses.

The prosecution asked that Luyster Jr. remain in contempt over the weekend. Lewis agreed but said he would not cause the boy additional stress by making him come to court Thursday morning.

Borge will report back to the court on behalf of Luyster Jr. when the trial resumes Monday.