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CA hispanic $1200/mo. father of 3 jailed for self defense/"Judge acknowledges self-defense role in Oak Park slaying"

"In America, you still have a right to defend yourself on your own property," Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard said from the bench.

Libs lookin out for the little guy, all those hispanics that voted for them, their constituency..6 mo. time served sentence plus 5 years probation and pay $7500 for criminal's funeral. That's not freedom judge. That's the UK. Or Europe. Time to wake up.

Never plea deal. I've heard of a w. wa guy (Lacey,WA) who, as a security guard, had a young female run up to his car hysterically saying her boyfriend was trying to kill her. He said get in, and was going to take her to safety, but the boyfriend in hot pursuit assaulted him, attacked his car, then told his friend to "get the gat". Guard drew weapon, and held him for police to arrive. The prosecutor was going to legally hang him with a plea deal-he smartly refused and spent $5000 on a lawyer ($750 every time the lawyer did anything)..but avoided jail and a ding on his record. That is the price we pay for freedom and doing the right thing (saving a victim from a thug).

March 5, 2010
Sacramento man gets 4 months for fatal shooting
By Andy Furillo

A judge today sentenced a Sacramento man to the four months in jail that the man had already served for the shooting to death of a parolee who confronted him in the front yard of his Oak Park home last year amid a heated neighborhood dispute.

James Sanchez Castillo, 31, faced up to a year in county jail as a result of his no-contest plea to a manslaughter charge in the April 24, 2009, killing of Leopoldo Velasco III, 23, in the 3900 block of 17th Avenue.

Castillo had initially been charged with murder in the case.

Prosecutors, however, allowed him to enter the no-contest plea to manslaughter based on evidence provided by the defendant's lawyer that Velasco ran up on Castillo "and started a loud and angry argument, pushed him several times and threatened to kill him," according to defense attorney Karol Martin Repkow's court papers.

A window washer with three kids he was raising on a monthly income of $1,200 a month, Castillo was carrying a handgun to protect his house after a week of confrontations that had pitted his wife against Velasco's girlfriend, who lived next door. Castillo shot Velasco three times.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard agreed from the bench today that the case included a major slice of self defense.

"In America, you still have the right to defend yourself on your own property," Gilliard said.

She sentenced Castillo to five years probation, six months in county jail (of which he had served four months, and the remainder of which will be applied in good-time credits) and restitution that included $7,500 to cover the victim's funeral.

The judge said Castillo has been "respectful" and "remorseful" during the course of the case. She said it was a killing "that never should have happened" and blamed Castillo's wife and Velasco's girlfriend for the dispute that led to the fatal shooting.

During the sentencing hearing, Castillo turned around from the defense table and said to Velasco's mother, Susie Ames: "I'd just like to say sorry to the family. I'm sorry this happened."

Ames said she accepted the apology but that "forgiveness is from God."

In a letter to the court last month, Ames said that Castillo "brutally murdered my son."

"Now we are told they are giving him a plea bargain!" Ames wrote. "I don't understand how a life of a human being is not worth more than a matter of months in county jail. Where is the justice?"

Velasco's record showed that he had done prison time for car theft and felony evasion of police officers. His record also shows misdemeanor convictions for battery, possession of methamphetamine, resisting arrest, car theft, drunk driving and carrying a concealed weapon.

His sister, Rosalina, who witnessed her brother's shooting death, said in a letter to the court that the shooting was "no self defense" but instead was "murder."

In her motion filed earlier in the trial to have her client released on bail, defense attorney Repkow said that Velasco shouted at Castillo: "I'll kill you!"

Repkow's motion said that Velasco's friends pulled him away from Castillo, but that he broke free and ran towards him again. She said Velasco reached into his pocket and that Castillo drew his pistol and fired first because he thought he was about to be killed.

The violence between Castillo's family and Velasco's girlfriend began a week earlier. According to Repkow's court papers, Velasco's girlfriend, Geneva Ram, hit Castillo's wife, Rosie, in the face with a wrench. The dispute erupted over Geneva Ram's driving in the street and Rosie Castillo telling her to slow down.

Tension built over the next seven days until the two women got into another argument the night of the fatal shooting and Geneva Ram pulled a knife on Rosie Castillo, Repkow's paper show.

Castillo's wife then left their house with their three children, with Castillo staying behind to protect the residence from the neighbors, according to Repkow's papers.

Castillo's record shows previous drunk driving and resisting arrest convictions.

His lawyer gave the court 17 letters of reference on his behalf, from former employers as well as relatives, friends and people who knew him as a youth football coach.

David Reppas, a former employer of Castillo's in a window-cleaning business, called him "an exemplary employee who was trustworthy, dependable and exemplified a strong work ethic."

"Time after time, James received positive comments from customers he serviced, and even now, customers he serviced last year are requesting him again this year," Reppas wrote.

Dierdre Walsh, the president of the Sacramento Jr. Falcons youth football club, said that Castillo "is a quiet, genuine, well-respected family man."

Call The Bee's Andy Furillo

Judge acknowledges self-defense role in Oak Park slaying

Saturday, Mar. 6, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
In his front yard on a tough street in a tough part of town, James Sanchez Castillo last year shot and killed a man who jumped out of a car and into his face.

On Friday, Castillo walked out of the courtroom with a probation term and four months already served in county jail, the result of a plea bargain in a case that, according to the judge, contained a major slice of self-defense.

"In America, you still have a right to defend yourself on your own property," Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard said from the bench.

Castillo, 31, gunned down Leopoldo Velasco III, 23, last April 24, in a deadly conclusion to a week's worth of warfare between the women in their lives, according to an outline proffered by defense lawyer Karol Martin Repkow and affirmed by Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet.

The Friday before the shooting, Castillo's kids were playing street football in front of their house on the 3900 block of 17th Avenue in Oak Park when Velasco's girlfriend backed out of her driveway a little too quickly to the liking of the defendant's wife.

"Slow the f--- down," Rosie Castillo told Geneva Ram.

"F--- you, bitch," Ram replied.

The women later went at it toe to toe, with Ram smashing Rosie Castillo in the face with a wrench.

Hostilities resumed the night of the shooting, with James Castillo finally packing up his wife and three kids and getting them out of the house. He stayed behind to protect it, standing out front with a .38 pistol in his pocket.

Ram, meanwhile, called Velasco and told him to provide her some "protection." His sister drove him to Castillo's house around 9 p.m. At the time, Velasco's blood-alcohol level was 0.06, according to an autopsy report.

He ran up to Castillo in his yard and shouted, "I'll kick your ass," and then "I'll kill you," according to a neighbor quoted in defense papers.

Castillo said in his probation report that "I was very, very afraid and I was sure that he was going to kill me. I honestly believe that I had no choice but to shoot him."

He fired three times and left Velasco lifeless.

The victim died a parolee, with a record of felony convictions for car theft and evasion of the police and misdemeanor battery, possession of methamphetamine, resisting arrest, car theft, drunken driving and carrying a concealed weapon.

A window washer who makes $1,200 a month, Castillo's record contains convictions for drunken driving and resisting arrest. But his court file also was stuffed with 17 letters from friends, bosses and relatives who called him a hard worker, a good father, son and husband, a committed youth football coach and concerned parent who helped out at his kids' school.

Recounting last April's shooting, Gilliard said, "These things don't happen in slow motion. They happen very, very quickly. And in a split second, a living, breathing person is now dead in the street."

The judge said it was a killing that "never should have happened."

"In looking at this case, the people that should be standing in front of this court are the women who were involved time and time again," the judge said. "They were continually getting into it in a very public, outrageous manner."

Under the terms of his plea, Castillo faced up to a year in county jail, which the prosecutor asked for on Friday. Castillo's probation report recommended that he serve three years in state prison.

Instead, Gilliard cut the sentence to six months time served, which equated to the four months in custody already turned in by Castillo, given his good-time credits.

"He has shown remorse," Gilliard said. "I don't see a lot of people showing remorse in this building."

Gilliard also gave Castillo five years' probation and ordered him to reimburse Velasco's family for the $7,500 they spent on his funeral. Castillo also faces 21 years in prison if he violates his probation.

Asked Friday if he wanted to make a statement, Castillo turned from the defense table and faced Velasco's mother, Susie Ames, in the audience.

"I'd just like to say sorry to the family," Castillo said. "I'm sorry this happened."

Both families have moved off 17th Avenue.

Ames wrote in a letter to the court when Castillo got out of jail on bail last year that he "brutally murdered my son. … I don't understand how a life of a human being is not worth more than a matter of months in county jail. Where is the justice?"

On Friday, Ames quivered at the chin in recalling the circumstances of her son's slaying, but also told the court, "I accept his apology."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

one more thing. A guy willing to raise 3 kids on $1200/mo. They will inherit America, we aren't competing..

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Added: Mar-8-2010 
By: HydrogenEconomy
Tags: CA, father, jailed, self, defense, plea, deal
Views: 15011 | Comments: 17 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 52 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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