Local News

Suspect in Orange High shooting ruled competent for trial

Posted February 18, 2009 10:33 a.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2009 10:50 a.m. EST

— 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.