School Closings And Delays

Musto In Court For Hearing

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WILKES-BARRE -- A former state senator from Luzerne County was in court Monday trying to convince a judge that the pressure of a criminal trial could kill him.

Senator Ray Musto's ill health is in question, but should it be enough to cancel his trial?

A judge heard hours of testimony about Ray Musto's worsening liver disease, an aneurysm that could rupture, and his lack of focus.

Late Monday afternoon, the judge said it will only take him one night to decide if Musto should face trial or if he's simply too sick.

Ray Musto, 84, was guided down the stairs of the Wilkes-Barre federal courthouse with the help of his family after a long day in court.

At times during the competency hearing, the former state senator nodded off as four medical experts and Musto's own son testified about the former lawmaker's declining health.

Musto was charged in 2010, accused of taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks while in office.

In court, psychiatrists and specialists testified that Musto’s cirrhosis of the liver has worsened and toxins reaching the brain are clouding his judgment. One doctor said Musto has been confused, exhausted and unfocused. Another specialist testified saying Musto said during a recent exam he feared that he would die from the stress preparing for a trial.

Musto's son said the lawmaker slept through most of Christmas Day. He has fallen several times at home but he refused to go to the hospital because he wanted to be here.

Federal prosecutors offered little argument about Musto's mental health and if he could withstand a trial.

The judge is expected to make a ruling Tuesday.

Musto's trial is currently scheduled to start next week.


  • coffee

    It will be interesting to see if this federal judge is part of the problem or a person whom takes his position of responsibility seriously!

  • don't buy it

    Has anyone noticed that these criminals suddenly become frail or incompetent when they are about to go to trial? Remember Judge Lupas’ father? I have no sympathy for these people. They should be on trial. The politicians of this county have made this area a disgrace and they should be held accountable whether or not they are competent. It is all an act. Don’t believe for one moment that they don’t know what is going on. They’re probably laughing at us because we’re stupid enough to believe they’re looney. By the way, the judge is looney if he’s nuts enough to believe Musto and his attorneys.

  • CR Woron

    I am a compassionate person by nature and feel that all are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately the blatant corruption and disregard for the law NEPA is epidemic and neither kindness or compassion are something that should be extended to individuals that are indicted and convicted for their crimes,and more especially to someone like Ray Musto. That fact that someone is actually indicted and brought to trail in this area for corruption means that the did it so often, and where so obvious about it that law enforcement could not ignore these law breakers. Musto is the worst kind of criminal, he was a trusted official, sworn to uphold the law and perform his duties ethically and morally. Ray’s metal and physical health is irrelevant, put him on trill and if found guilty send him to jail. If he dies during the trial because of the stress then it is a win win for everyone. Ray has no one to blame than himself. Extending any kindness or compassion to Ray Musto is an insult to every law abiding citizen.

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