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DATE: April 13, 2005
PUBLICATION:
Palm Beach Post, The (FL)
EDITION: MARTIN-ST. LUCIE
SECTION: LOCAL
MEMO: METRO REPORT

FORT PIERCE - Prosecutors in St. Lucie County Tuesday began laying out their case against a Port St. Lucie man charged with soliciting his 6-year-old son to murder the boy's mother, his ex-girlfriend. They say Edward Munao, 40, told his son "to go into the kitchen, pick up a knife and kill his mother." Munao is on trial on charges of solicitation to commit first- and second-degree murder, solicitation to commit aggravated battery, and child abuse.

In opening statements, prosecutors also said Munao encouraged the boy, who already suffered from a psychological disorder and was violent toward his mother, to hit and harass her. Defense attorneys said Munao and his ex-girlfriend had different parenting styles and urged the jury to pay close attention to "motive and intent" while listening to testimony. The trial will continue today.

"He's a 6-year-old, and he was to be this man's instrument in the crime," Bakkedahl said in closing arguments.

After the trial, defense attorney Linda Capobianco still disputed that.

"There was no solicitation of murder," she said. "It just wasn't there."

 

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