Local News

Judge denies bond for suspect in Orange High School shootings

Posted February 5, 2009 9:20 a.m. EST
Updated February 5, 2009 3:32 p.m. EST

—  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.