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Teen charged in death had a record Mustin was arrested in December on drug and alcohol charges
BY JIM NOLAN TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Jul 1, 2005
Before being charged this week in the fatal stabbing of a retired Army general in Richmond, teen suspect John Townsend Mustin was arrested for possession of hallucinogenic drugs and underage alcohol consumption in Winchester, court records show.
Mustin, 18, was arrested on Dec. 22, 2004, for felony possession of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug obtained from mushrooms.
According to court records, Mustin entered a guilty plea on May 10. A Winchester Circuit Court judge deferred sentencing for a year and placed him on probation.
Mustin was ordered to perform community service, pay $505 in court costs, drive with restrictions and stay out of further trouble with the law.
The case is among the reasons Richmond police executed search warrants this week to test Mustin's blood. He is accused in the Tuesday morning knifing of his mother and the fatal stabbing of her close friend, a retired general who had been something of a father figure to the boy.
The state forensic lab will perform toxicology tests to determine whether the teen was under the influence of any alcohol or drugs at the time of the attacks, which began inside the Mustin home at 304 Albemarle Ave. in Lower Stonewall Court.
Homicide detectives are still probing the possible motive for the attacks, which they believe began shortly before 7:15 a.m. in Mustin's bedroom during a dispute with his mother.
Investigators said Courtney Cash Mustin, 58, was critically wounded in the home by a single stab wound that nicked her heart.
Retired Maj. Gen. John C. Bard, 75 -- a former commandant at West Point, decorated war hero and longtime companion of Courtney Mustin -- was fatally stabbed after witnesses say he encountered the knife-wielding, blood-soaked teen in the street and tried to calm him down.
Yesterday, officials said Courtney Mustin was still in the intensive care unit at VCU Medical Center.
John Mustin, known as "Towney," was also still hospitalized and under observation after he was treated for knife wounds, at least some of which investigators believe were self-inflicted. He is charged with malicious wounding and is expected to be indicted on a murder charge when a Richmond Circuit Court grand jury convenes next week.
Meanwhile, funeral arrangements were finalized for Bard. He will be buried July 12 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in upstate New York.
Yesterday, current and former homeowners in the close-knit neighborhood where the Mustins lived were still trying to come to grips with the violence that spilled onto the streets of their upscale residential enclave.
A number of them contacted The Times-Dispatch to reinforce their belief that the 75-year-old Bard had played a supportive role in helping Courtney Mustin raise three children.
"They called him 'Uncle Bard,' said one neighbor, who said Bard's yearslong relationship with the divorced Mustin provided "nurturing and discipline" to the family.
In the 1990s, Bard, who lived nearby, worked with Courtney Mustin as president of one of her limousine companies. And for as long as some neighbors can remember, he'd arrive at the Mustin home early every morning and play a commanding role in the life of the family.
"When John showed up, he was a stabilizing authority figure," said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified. "A stabilizing force."
Other neighbors interviewed yesterday mixed their sadness over Courtney Mustin's wounding and Bard's death with anger toward the teen charged in the attacks.
"There is absolutely no excuse for what happened, and it makes me sick," said one Albemarle Avenue homeowner who witnessed part of Tuesday's attacks and said he'd had a good relationship with Bard and Courtney Mustin.
"After reading John's full history, he was nothing short of an American hero."