Judge postpones hearing for murder suspect known to spit

Dustin Musso
Dustin Musso

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man accused of killing his grandfather was scheduled to be back in court Monday morning, but the hearing was moved to January.

Dustin Musso, 30, was expected to appear in a Baton Rouge courtroom for a status hearing in his murder case.

He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his grandfather, Pete Musso, 76.

Back in April, Judge Mike Erwin took 1,776 pages of information on the murder suspect.

Last October, Erwin ruled Musso is able to assist in his own defense, after Musso requested to fire his attorney.

When the defendant appeared for that hearing, he was forced to wear a mask to prevent him from spitting.

Court security outfitted him with the device after a series of incidents in which he spit at judges, prosecutors and fellow inmates during previous court appearances.

Musso is accused of killing his grandfather, setting the house on fire and then taking a bus to Alabama.

Pete Musso lived at a home on Glenda Drive in Baton Rouge, where a fire started around 3:40 a.m. on May 5, 2009.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office said he experienced some sort of trauma to the head, which is why police began investigating it as a murder.

Dustin Musso was taken into custody at a bus station in Montgomery, AL the same morning as the murder and fire.

He was initially charged with felony theft, but the charges were later upgraded. In September 2009, a Baton Rouge grand jury indicted him for first-degree murder.

According to the victim's granddaughter, Pete Musso took in his grandson to live with him.