Day 6: Jurors hear Leland Hust’s police interview, jailhouse note

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The state rested its case in the trial of Leland Hust. He is accused of raping and killing 6-year-old Ariana Romeo.

During day six of the trial, prosecutors played the end of a Rio Rancho police interview with Hust.

“I deserve to (expletive) die, ‘cause that’s what happened," Hust said. "I (expletive) killed my niece. And I’m trying to remember, and I can’t remember what I did. I didn’t know I did it. I would have (expletive) killed myself if I knew I did that."

When Hust was left alone, after he knew he was going to be arrested, he muttered to himself.

"If he’s out – if he’s out again, he’s going to do it again," Hust said. "If someone hurts (inaudible) if he’s out of that box. I had him in that box. There’s no way – there’s no way he could have gotten out of that box. I got rid of that thing."

Hust maintained he put a movie on for Romeo in her room, and then went to bed in his room and stayed asleep all night.

But a note uncovered in Hust’s jail cell tells a different story.

"What I was forced to see and do at gunpoint is enough to make me want to die," Hust said. "I figured getting murdered in prison is better than suicide. I am willing to die for what took place. I am sorry for holding info. But I did not know they had him in custody."

In a jailhouse phone call, Hust said he was forced to rape Romeo after she was dead. But detectives say the blood stain evidence does not support that theory.

If Hust decides to take the stand, it will happen Friday. If he doesn’t, closing arguments will begin Monday.