Local News

Lawyer: Police Illegally Seized School Shooting Suspect's Computers

Posted February 23, 2007 11:44 a.m. EST
Updated February 23, 2007 12:22 p.m. EST

— The man charged with killing his father and opening fire at a local high school last August doesn't want authorities to get information off his computer.

Alvaro Rafael Castillo, 19, of Hillsborough, is charged with murder in the Aug. 30 shooting death of his father, Rafael Huezo Castillo, and faces a slew of charges in connection with a shooting the same day outside Orange High School that injured two students.

Castillo publicly acknowledged after his arrest that he was obsessed with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. Before the shooting, he sent an e-mail to the principal at Columbine High to announce his intention to commit a similar act and mailed a videotaped confession to a Chapel Hill newspaper.

But public defender James Williams on Friday said Orange County investigators shouldn't have access to information on two computers taken from Castillo's home. Williams said deputies didn't have probable cause to seize the computers.

Superior Court Judge Carl Fox said he would withhold judgment for another month on whether authorities could retrieve information from the computers and whether prosecutors could use any of the information.