Musso expected in court for sanity hearing

Dustin Musso
Dustin Musso

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The man accused of killing his grandfather and later trying to kill an inmate while in prison will be back in court for a sanity hearing Thursday.

Dustin Musso had originally been cleared to assist attorneys in his case. His attorney, Lance Unglesby, pushed for a new competency hearing. According to Unglesby, there's new and expanded medical information that could change the ruling.

Several hearings for the 30-year-old accused killer have been delayed in the past for legal issues. In January, a new set of court-appointed lawyers took over his defense after he "fired" his previous attorney.

Musso is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his grandfather, Pete Musso, 76. The elderly man was killed in his Baton Rouge home in 2009. Musso is accused of killing his grandfather, setting the house on fire and then taking a bus to Alabama. According to the victim's granddaughter, Pete Musso took in his grandson to live with him.

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. He faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said Musso offered to shave another inmate's neck through his cell bars in February. However, officials added when Musso was done, he cut the man's throat.

Prison detectives said the other inmate was in jail on child molestation charges and after the attack, Musso reportedly yelled, "I'm trying to rid the world of child molesters."

The victim received several stitches. Musso has been charged with attempted second-degree murder. Authorities said Musso also spit on detectives after the incident. He faces charges related to that as well.

In Oct. 2010, court security began outfitting Musso with a device over his face after a series of incidents in which he spit at judges, prosecutors and fellow inmates during previous court appearances.

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