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Brent Luyster Jr. claims self-defense on opening day of murder trial

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CLARK COUNTY — The murder trial for Brent Luyster Jr. began Tuesday, with the defense telling the jury that the teen fatally stabbed his stepfather in May 2021 at an Amboy apartment in self-defense.

The 18-year-old son and namesake of convicted triple-murderer Brent Luyster is facing a charge of second-degree murder in Clark County Superior Court.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff McCarty told the jury Luyster Jr.’s only injuries from a fight with his stepfather, Luther Moore, that ended in Moore’s fatal stabbing, were a cut on his pinky finger and some redness on his back. There were no other injuries indicating Luyster Jr. had been assaulted. The knife was not one the teen grabbed from the apartment to defend himself with, McCarty said, but one that he was photographed with earlier in the day.

By comparison, McCarty said Moore, 48, suffered multiple stab wounds, which punctured his lungs, before he collapsed in the doorway of the apartment.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded shortly after midnight on May 24, 2021, to 28013 N.E. 419th St., Unit 1, for the stabbing, emergency dispatch records show. There, they found Luyster Jr., then 17, with blood on his clothing and the minor injury to his hand, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Moore was found dead, lying in the doorway of the residence with visible stab wounds to his back and side, the affidavit states.

Defense attorney Michele Michalek said Moore was intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 the night of the stabbing. She told the jury Moore was upset that Luyster Jr.’s mother, Moore’s soon to be ex-wife, was pregnant by another man. Moore became increasingly intoxicated and enraged throughout the night, Michalek said, until Luyster Jr. tried to leave the apartment. At that point, Michalek said Moore hit Luyster Jr. in the back with a broomstick, and the two began fighting.

Michalek said Moore got on top of Luyster Jr. on the couch and was shouting that he was going to kill him. Eventually, Luyster Jr. pulled out a knife he had on him, Michalek said, and reached around to stab Moore in the back three times. She said Moore continued to chase Luyster Jr., despite being stabbed, out of the apartment before turning around and collapsing in the doorway.

After the opening statements, the jury listened to a 16-minute 911 call, in which a neighbor says that Luyster Jr. is at her door saying he stabbed his stepfather and thinks he’s dead. She said Luyster Jr. told her Moore was beating him with a broomstick.

The neighbor can be heard on the 911 call consoling the teen and reassuring him officers will treat him fairly. Michalek said Luyster Jr. told the neighbor the officers would shoot him because of his last name.

An officer can later be heard in the background of the call shouting, “Do not move. I will shoot you.” The dispatcher tells the neighbor that the officers are familiar with Luyster Jr.

Luyster Jr. declined to speak with investigators without an attorney, court records say.

His arrest in the stabbing came just eight months after he was given a break in an assault case involving a knife.

The trial is scheduled to last seven days.

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