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Appeals court upholds Orange school shooter's conviction

Posted July 19, 2011

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— The state Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a man who killed his father and then opened fire on Orange High School, rejecting a challenge to North Carolina's standard for an insanity defense.

Alvaro Castillo, 23, was arrested Aug. 30, 2006, after he drove to Orange High with a cache of weapons and opened fire. Two students were injured in the school shooting, which ended when school personnel tackled him.

While they were investigating the shooting, Orange County deputies discovered the body of Castillo's father, Rafael Huezo Castillo, in the family's home. He had been shot several times.

A jury convicted Alvaro Castillo in August 2009 on 10 charges in the case, including first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Castillo had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to all charges, and his lawyers presented testimony during the three-week trial from mental health experts and social workers who said he was psychotic at the time of the shootings.

His appellate attorneys argued that the jury should have been told to consider whether Castillo's mental state led him to believe that his actions were moral, not just whether he knew they were legally wrong. The appellate court rejected that argument.

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  • Keyboard Toughy Jul 19, 2011

    "...except an ACLU card carrying right wing liberal. Whew... good one Rev!!!!!!" - Bartmeister

    RIGHT WING LIBERAL? Thats a new one.

  • Bartmeister Jul 19, 2011

    Praying that the courts might turn the other cheek to this young man and give him another chance to be a productive member of society. reverendbaxter
    =================================================

    You almost had me there rev, but then I thought nobody could be that stupid except an ACLU card carrying right wing liberal. Whew... good one Rev!!!!!!

  • ICTrue Jul 19, 2011

    "Praying that the courts might turn the other cheek to this young man and give him another chance to be a productive member of society." reverendbaxter

    Well, that's what they usually do. That's why the vast majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by repeat offendors. What you should really be praying for is that this "young man" is never in a position to murder innocent people again.

  • tmed1938 Jul 19, 2011

    Rev,you've gotta be kiddin' .The 'mental health experts ' don't know his mental state anymore than I do at the time of the murders!

  • lsdhome Jul 19, 2011

    Dear Diary: A Red Letter Day... The NC Court of Appeals did right this time.

  • reverendbaxter Jul 19, 2011

    Praying that the courts might turn the other cheek to this young man and give him another chance to be a productive member of society.

  • Scubagirl Jul 19, 2011

    Good! these insanity pleas need to stop being played. Murder is murder and if he killed his dad before going to the school I'm guessing he knew exactly what he was doing, and that it was wrong. Not insane, just a low-life.