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A slaughterhouse worker in New South Wales who stabbed a co-worker 49 times but was found not guilty of murder due to ‘extreme provocation’ is a good guy, says his stepsister.
Layla Price, who presented evidence as a defense witness at the Newcastle Supreme Court on Wednesday, said she was shocked when she was told that her stepbrother, Jamie Cust, had stabbed someone to death in 2018.
“He just wasn’t anything like what he would do,” Price said.
Cust, 22, claimed that he got scared after waking up to find Filipino citizen Jesús Bebita s*xually assaulting him.
A jury found Cust not guilty of murdering Bebita, 41, but guilty of manslaughter on December 17, 2018.
The two men had been friends and colleagues at JBS Meatworks in Scone when they invited Cust to Mr. Bebita’s unit for drinks.
Slaughterhouse worker Jamie Cust told police
Mr. Bebita’s body was found in a pool of blood in the bathroom the next morning after he had been stabbed 49 times in a frenzy.
Cust called his stepfather, Viv Price, at 4:14 a.m. M. To pick him up and on the way back to Muswellbrook he told her, “I stabbed him because he tried to rape me.”
I think he’s dead. I woke up, my pants were down and I was rubbing my cock, ‘Cust told his stepfather.
After showering and putting his blood-soaked clothes in garbage bags, Cust turned himself in at the Muswellbrook Police Station.
Price told the court Wednesday that she had started a relationship with Cust’s mother in 1998 in Muswellbrook when the boy was about six months old and the couple had Layla a year later.
Price said the couple separated in 2001 and Cust’s mother left for Sydney before both children were abandoned at the Muswellbrook train station about two years later and he raised them both as his own.
She described Cust as hysterical when she picked him up after the fatal stabbing and admitted that he had done something wrong and should have hit Mr. Bebita.
“The person I know wouldn’t have done things like that,” Price said.
Prosecutor Brendan Queenan urged Judge Helen Wilson to consider the involuntary manslaughter case to be in the upper range of severity given that Cust had stabbed Bebita 49 times, chasing him from the bedroom, down the hall to the bathroom while the victim treated desperately to escape.
Defense attorney Paul Rosser QC said Cust had unusually good prospects for rehabilitation because he had always been a worker and was close to his stepfather and sister, who had never seen him act violently in the past.
Judge Wilson noted that anyone abandoned at such a young age by his mother was expected to turn to drugs and in and out of jail, but this was not the case for Cust.
After Cust’s arrest, he asked an officer, “Do you think I’m a bad person?” The officer replied: ‘You have murdered someone, friend, there is nothing worse.’
Cust made a stabbing gesture with his hand and said, “I just stabbed him and it took him years to die.”
He later told detectives: ‘I woke up and we were in bed together and he was touching my penis and it freaked me out.’
Police found a note in Cust’s bag stating that he had been thinking of fleeing north after killing Mr. Bebita.
Cust will be sentenced Thursday.
Jesus Bebita Quick and Facts
- Jesus Bebita stabbed 49 times after s*xually assaulting colleague Jamie Cust
- Two men were previously friends and worked together at a NSW slaughterhouse
- Mr Cust told police he ‘freaked out’ after Mr Bebita had touched his penis in bed
- In lead up to 2018 incident, the men had been drinking together at Bebita’s unit