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Defense: Dustin Musso did kill his grandfather

3 years 1 week 5 hours ago December 03, 2013 Dec 3, 2013 Tuesday, December 03 2013 December 03, 2013 5:48 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto

BATON ROUGE - Defense attorneys told a jury of 12 men and women today that Dustin Musso killed his grandfather in May of 2009. Musso beat him and set his house on fire.

However, Lance Unglesby said his grandfather's actions over many years prompted Musso to kill him.  He asked jurors to not find his client guilty of first degree murder, but rather manslaughter which carries a lower penalty.

In court a 23-year veteran police officer testified that she doesn't get rattled easily, but Dustin Musso rattled her. She also said that he was the most "evil and malicious" person she has ever encountered.

Unglesby blamed Musso's family and grandfather for his unstable childhood. As he was being raised, he lived in nearly 23 foster homes.

"Pete Musso molested children," Unglesby said. "He molested lots of children, molested Dustin. The sins of his past finally caught up with him."

Prosecutor Prem Burns doesn't buy it.

"The old molestation, that's what the Menendez brothers did in their case," Burns said. "To pull it out of the woodwork, 'Oh we were molested by out father' to try to get off on first degree murder, it's an easy thing to do against a dead person."

"You don't have to go very far to see what happened to Dustin Musso," Unglesby said. "He was molested by his grandfather and that created an angry individual."

Burns believes a life sentence is the only thing that is fitting for the crime Musso allegedly committed.

"This man needs to be put away and the public protected for the rest of their lives," Burns said.

Musso typically wears a mask to prevent him from spitting. Today, he was in plain street clothes. 

The death penalty was taken off the table earlier this year. The trial should wrap up by the end of the week.

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