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Judge denies bond for suspect in Orange High School shootings

Posted February 5, 2009

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—  A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied bond for a Hillsborough man accused of killing his father and then trying to carry out a Columbine-style attack on his high school.

Alvaro Castillo, 21, is charged with murder in the Aug. 30, 2006, shooting death of Rafael Huezo Castillo and faces several charges in connection with a shooting that injured two students at Orange High School on the same day.

Castillo has been in jail without bond since his arrest.

Castillo's public defender, James Williams, said Thursday that his client has undergone treatment at Central Prison and Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh for mental issues over the past two years.

Williams said Castillo had been involuntarily committed to UNC Hospitals for depression four months prior to the shooting, but that he had not been consistently treated for his mental issues.

Williams indicated he would bring up the mental health issues when the case goes to trial.

No trial date has been set. It was expected Thursday, but Judge Paul Gessner delayed doing so until after a Feb. 18 motions hearing dealing with Castillo's competency.

After his arrest, Castillo publicly acknowledged the crimes in a homemade video tape and a letter to a Chapel Hill newspaper the same day of the incident.

On the tape, Castillo seems to become animated and agitated when talking about alleged abuse at the hands of his father.

Investigators said Castillo also sent an e-mail about the alleged rampage to the principal at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo., where two gunmen shot 13 people before killing themselves in April 1999. In the e-mail, Castillo revealed his obsession with that massacre.


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  • Cricket at the lake Feb 5, 2009

    He is a murderer and obviously "unbalanced". And why was bail even considered? Who knows how his Father may have mistreated him but he went on to school to continue his revenge.

  • TheAdmiral Feb 5, 2009

    Wow - if I were a lawyer I would be wanting to get him off because of the lack of a speedy trial.

  • Drakula_I_G Feb 5, 2009

    Well, golly-gee!
    A judge that remands a killer instead of giving him a laffable bond.
    Wow. I'm impressed.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 5, 2009

    Smart judge on the bond part. He should get life in prison for killing his father. He should have walk away and then he would not have been in this mess.

  • PaulRevere Feb 5, 2009

    Although I'll never understand that "whys" of how some people get bail and some don't, at least this one came out the right way-in Orange County no less!