SARAH PROHASKA, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
May 19, 2005
Post, The (FL)
A Stuart man who prosecutors say instructed his
6-year-old son to "get a knife and kill your mother"
was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum penalty
possible - 10 years in prison - after a jury last
month convicted him of child abuse and solicitation
to commit aggravated battery.
Prosecutors had charged Edward Munao, 39,
with a more serious count of solicitation to commit
first-degree murder, but the jury found him not
guilty of that charge. Circuit Judge Gary Sweet,
however, was candid Wednesday in his assessment of
"It seems to me that Mr. Munao is extremely
narcissistic," Sweet said during the sentencing
hearing. "I think the evidence is clear that you
absolutely abused this child emotionally and
During the trial, Munao was accused of
encouraging the emotionally troubled and
impressionable boy to hit, harass and disobey his
ex-girlfriend, the boy's mother. Prosecutors alleged
he told the boy during a phone call to "go into the
kitchen, get a knife and kill your mother."
They played a tape his mother made of a phone call
between Munao and the boy on which Munao
said: "Do you need me to come over there and kill
her for you?"
attorney Jerome Stone Jr. asked Sweet for a sentence
of probation that would keep Munao, who has
already served 330 days in jail, out of prison. He
said Munao is "a great candidate for
Afterward, Stone said he was surprised by the
"My client obviously is disappointed," he said.
testified during the April trial that he never
intended for the boy to actually kill his mother.
Munao said the words "get a knife" came out of
his mouth in the heat of the moment and out of fear
for his son, who he said called him up in a frenzy
and crying for help after his mother told him he
couldn't watch television.
For a moment, Munao said, he was afraid the
boy really needed to defend himself. But he soon
realized that wasn't the case, he said. He said the
jury only heard bits and pieces of his taped
conversation with the boy, and he was actually
trying to calm his son down.
The boy's mother, Jodi Walsh, told the judge that
Munao has a history of drug use and domestic
violence, even though he has never been convicted in
court of either. She said the "emotional mind games
and manipulation" of the boy began as early as age
3, she said.
"He was teaching our healthy boy to be aggressive,"
Walsh said. "There is no justice when an innocent
child gets scarred for life."
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