Local News

Suspect in Orange High shooting ruled competent for trial

Posted February 18, 2009

— A Superior Court judge on Wednesday ruled a Hillsborough man was competent to stand trial on charges he killed his father and tried 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 the same day.

Castillo has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to all charges.

He has received treatment at Central Prison and Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh for mental issues over the past two years. Judge Allen Baddour reviewed an evaluation provided by psychiatrists and ruled that Castillo was competent to assist in his defense at trial.

Castillo's public defender, James Williams, said he agreed with the psychiatric assessment.

Baddour set a trial date of July 27.

After his arrest, Castillo publicly acknowledged the crimes in a homemade videotape and a letter mailed to a Chapel Hill newspaper the day of the incidents.

On the tape, Castillo appears 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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  • 2beachy4u Feb 18, 2009

    An eye for an eye in this case. I don't want my tax money feeding a crazed murderer. That's what's wrong with the system today. He will be fed 3 times a day now and get a warm place to sleep at night for killing his own father and injuring 2 students. Wow, that ought to teach him.....NOT! It's funny how he killed someone and pleaded insanity but yet he was sane enough to plead it instead of being ruled insane from the psychologists.....

  • KevinUNC97 Feb 18, 2009

    Whatever happened to that Chapel Hill teen who killed his parents, and then kept their bodies in the house while he attended prom. Where is the publicity for that case? In my humble opinion, that CH teen deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life!

  • Politically Honest NOT PC Feb 18, 2009

    Obviously he is insane because what sane person would take another person's life intentionally? However, insanity is not an excuse to get out of standing trial. If a person gets the insanity plea, let the jury be psychiatrists.