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News / Clark County News

Clark County judge sentences Brent Luyster III to more than 7 years in prison in shoplifting robbery

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: July 3, 2024, 6:18pm

A judge granted Brent Luyster III a mid-range sentence of 7½ years Wednesday for a December 2022 shoplifting robbery he committed five months after beating a murder charge.

Luyster, now 20, pleaded guilty June 7 to first-degree robbery and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Charges of second-degree assault and possession of a motor vehicle were dismissed as a part of the plea agreement, court records show.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino said he also dropped a firearm enhancement on the robbery charge, which would have added six years to Luyster’s sentence. He said removing the enhancement was in an effort to consider Luyster’s youthfulness at the time of the crime. He was 18 years old during the robbery.

But Gasperino also noted Luyster has multiple prior convictions as a juvenile, including some for robberies with similar circumstances. He said that shows the rehabilitative nature of juvenile detention did not curb Luyster’s violence.

“We still have Mr. Luyster here today, ramping up his behavior,” Gasperino said.

He said at some point, the court must keep the community safe, and he asked Judge John Fairgrieve to sentence Luyster to the top of his sentencing range.

Luyster’s defense attorney, Michele Michalek, asked the court to grant Luyster a low-end sentence because of his abusive upbringing in a toxic household. Luyster is the son of convicted triple murderer Brent Luyster, who’s serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of release, in addition to 10 years in a federal firearms case.

She told Fairgrieve that a high-end sentence would ensure the younger Luyster does not become a productive member of society. She said he has no intention of going back to the gang of which he was a member.

Luyster said in a statement he read to the judge he was remorseful for the violence he inflicted on the employees who tried to stop him from stealing. He detailed his tumultuous childhood, which he said included him using drugs and alcohol from a young age. He said he’s finally realizing everything wrong with his upbringing.

“At this point in my life, I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want,” Luyster said. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison like my father is today.”

Fairgrieve said Luyster seems to have matured since he first encountered him in the court system. He said he appreciated Luyster seeming to accept responsibility for what he did. The judge said the mid-range sentence balances the severity of the crime and the impact on the victims with Luyster’s youth and his unstable family situation.

“I have no doubt that contributed in large part to some of the things Mr. Luyster has done,” Fairgrieve said.

The judge warned Luyster that with his criminal history, any further crimes would result in him serving even lengthier prison sentences.

Gun accessory theft

Vancouver police responded Dec. 23, 2022, to Sportsman’s Warehouse at 11505 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

Investigators said two people, one of whom was later identified as Luyster, could be seen on surveillance video arriving at the store in what appeared to be a stolen vehicle. The video shows the two entering the store wearing ski masks and gloves, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Once inside the store, the pair could be seen selecting gun magazines and ammunition reloading tools from shelves, then attempting to leave without paying for the items, court records state.

When a loss-prevention employee approached them, the video shows one of the thieves, identified in court documents as Luyster, drew a pistol and pointed it at the employee’s face. The two men then left the store.

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Once the pair was outside, investigators say Luyster can be seen firing the pistol in the air. Gasperino said surveillance video shows there was a man carrying a child in the parking lot at the time. Officers found a spent shell casing in the area, the affidavit states.

The men are seen leaving the parking lot in a Dodge Nitro with Oregon license plates, according to court records.

Investigators said the men can be seen on video lifting their face masks at one point while in the store and officers were able to identify Luyster.

Police found the vehicle Dec. 28, 2022, parked near Northeast 26th Street and 112th Avenue. There were no license plates on the car, and officers confirmed it was stolen by the vehicle identification number, the affidavit states.