Local News

Court to hear Orange school shooter's appeal

Posted January 25, 2011 3:19 p.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2011 3:47 p.m. EST

— The state Court of Appeals will hear an appeal next month from a man convicted two years ago of killing his father and then opening fire on Orange High School.

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 argue 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.