Death Threats and Race-Baiting in Court As Judge Glenn Davis Orders Armando Castillo Released on Bond

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Armando Castillo.jpg
Arizona Department of Corrections
Armando Castillo will be released on bond later this week.
It was a wild scene at the Maricopa County Superior Court building today as Judge Glenn Davis ordered that Armando Castillo be released on bond while awaiting re-trial in a 13-year old shaken-baby case.

Prosecutors agreed to a new trial for Castillo last week. You can see our report here.

Judge Davis opened the proceedings this morning by declaring that he was inclined to order the release of Armando Castillo on bond but was willing to listen to any argument against.

Prosecutors began their presentation by calling Steve Young Sr., father of victim Steve Young Jr., to address the court.

Tall and thin, wearing a sports coat with blue jeans and a deeply-etched scowl, he expressed astonishment that the court had failed to contact him before last week's hearing. Young lamented having to read the news in "a blog," presumably New Times.

Prosecutors later clarified that the mix-up was due to Young not having signed up to receive appellate updates at the end of the first trial.

Young declined to criticize the court's decision but let loose on Castillo, who, he said, "is Hispanic, speaks Spanish, and has friends and family in Mexico." If he were in the same situation, Young said, there would be "no Earthly way he would show up for trial."

His voice rising, Young said he foresaw two possibilities if Castillo were released on bond. "In the event that he is not killed outright by angry family members, he will go to Mexico."

Young ended his speech by imploring the judge to rely on his years of wisdom and deny bond. Several deputies entered the room after he spoke and took positions around the room, something defense attorneys speculated caused by Young's passive threat.

Clara Yates, mother of Steve Young Jr., was more subdued in her anguish. She said that she thought of her son every day, and that his death had prevented her from experiencing various milestones of motherhood.

"No kindergarten. No 8th grade graduation. No high school football, his favorite activity. No report cards." Instead, she says, she gets "letters from the district attorney about the murderer's status."

In receiving a new trial, she said Castillo continues to destroy her life. Yates told the assembled that she suffers severe depression and is uanable to work or function normally.

"He has smiled in our faces and refused to take responsibility for what he did," she added, asking that he remain in prison. Castillo has been adamant in insisting he is innocent.

Prosecutor Frankie Grimsman argued that Castillo's bond should be $160,000, the same as the original figure. Grisman said she was "horrified by the pre-sentencing report" that recommended a low-bond and supervised release.

She said Castillo could not be counted on not to flee and that the people who would bond him out could not vouch for him. Disparaging Castillo's wife, Sheri, as "the woman who writes as his wife," Grimsman noted that she had "married him in prison and cannot take responsibility for him" because they had never lived together.

Larry Hammond from the Arizona Justice Project countered by suggesting that Pre-Trial Services interviewed Yates and took her concerns under advisement.

"This gentleman, Mr. Castillo, has not only been granted a new trial but one based on post-conviction relief that would probably lead to his innocence. This man knows now he will have a new trial afforded to him with a new trier of fact. That is not the same position as 13 years ago."

Grimsman rose to make it clear that the state did not agree to a new trial based on "new evidence" - she made air-quotes with her fingers - but based on the argument that Castillo had received ineffective counsel in his first trial.

Defense attorney Steve Leschner stood up and asserted that the state did not mention why they were agreeing to a new trial last week, and that he would not allow them to "re-write history."

Grimsman angrily fired back that they always made it clear in conversation with the defense that it was over ineffective counsel. "The defense does not have the right to stipulate reasons" for the state, she fumed.

In making his order, Judge Davis addressed the elephant in the room: scientific evidence. He says that he hoped the state had filled the family of Steve Young Jr. in on the "real and genuine question here and understand that according to what has been presented there is a real possibility that an innocent person has been sitting in prison all these years.

"I would want the truth to come out if I were a parent," he added, causing Yates to visibly shake her head. Grimsman said that she had filled the family in on the state's side of the case.

In their petition for post-conviction relief last week the Arizona Justice Project argued that scientific evidence shows that Young Jr. did not die of injuries suffered on the day before his death but were older and might have been caused by the father.

Ruling that Castillo is an unlikely flight-risk because he is in a situation where he might be acquitted, which is more appealing than a lifetime as a fugitive, he ordered him released on 50K bond and ankle-monitoring.

The case is set for a status hearing before a different Judge, Judge Kristin Hoffman, at 9 a.m. on March 18th. Yates said "thank God" when she heard that a new judge would be hearing the case.

Neither Yates nor Young were willing to speak with New Times after the hearing. Sheri Castillo said her husband barely speaks Spanish and has no family in Mexico.


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19 comments
Carol
Carol

I Know Steven very well and has been like family to me for years and for this jackass ofa so called reporter to say that this man killed his son, as a lady I won't use the wordsI really want to call or say to you, but I will say do your damn homework JACKASS look at the evidence and I mean all causes just not shaken......Oh that's if you get off your bias ass and really care about Steven Jr not Catillo!!!

MLH
MLH

I know Steve Young personally and I KNOW he would never hurt his child. That is absolutely ridiculous and it is just a turn to try and free someone who did. I spent time together with him and his son and saw what a loving father he was to little Stevie. Shame on all of you who would say otherwise just to try and protect the guilty. Yes, he may be your family and you may think it's what you need to do but this is about justice for Steven jr. Let's remember him in all of this...if he would have been your child you would want the truth and the peace knowing the person behind this is punished! This is not about blaming others, it's about right and wrong and what was done to Steven was evil and wrong! Whether Mr. Castillo is found guilty again or not, the guilt alone of having to live with what he has done will catch up to him, not to mention having to stand in front of God one day to be judged...you can say all you want and try to convince as many as you can, but He knows!

sandra
sandra

i am ashamed of all of you. his words were twisted to make him seem like a racist man and he made no threats of the sorts he is not foolish he was only sinply stating the obvouse about the other people that would like to see him snuffed, that reporter wasn't even suppose to be in the court room. along with clara yates, the reporter took her speach and took it apart and made her out to be something less her self. The judge didn't even care what the victims had to say he had already made up his mind that he was gonna let mondo out on a 50000 bond.

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

So according to that Yates and Young, if you are Mexican or in Young's words--"Hispanic"(which means you can be anything from a Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Argentinian, Chilean etc etc) you don't understand English and that you "speak Spanish" only and "have friends and family in Mexico".

Wow. Ergo, I'm not "Hispanic" but I gotta say that is most idiotic blather an "Earthly" human can assume. Those rabid racist rednecks are getting dumber each year. No wonder Native Amerians are far more advanced and CIVILIZED than they are, in these modern days.

OK, Haters, Here's 1-4-U
OK, Haters, Here's 1-4-U

Normally, I'd make a joke about Pearce and his Nazis and getting another Mexican back over the border.But somehow this story doesn't seem to promote any humor.

Romeroj36
Romeroj36

you "KNOW steve young personally" and was a " loving father to stevie" explain the numerous bruising that kid had after coming back from spendig time with his father. obv he never went to his fathers house with bruising from castillo or the mother. what i dont get is how hes been living a free but guilty man while an innocent man has been in prison serving time for somthing he did not do. the guilt will catch up with the father.

Justiceformando
Justiceformando

Yeah, the Yates family is so upstanding. Clara's in court on Wed to fight to keep what appears to be an innocent man in prison, and the next day her brother is in court getting sentenced to go back to prison for the 4th time. This family is well known in the White Tanks for their drug use and and criminal history. Even her own father went to prison. Every time you open your mouths, or print comments, you only continue to show your ignorance. No wonder you can't conprehend that unbiased and unpaid experts, the best in the United States reviewed the evidence in this case and all came to the same conclusion. Furthernore, you continue to spew lie after lie and all Castillo has done is present the truth. Steve Young made a jack ass out of himself in court by stating that Castillo spoke Spanish, had friends and family in Mexico, and would flee there if released. I guess it's ok for your side to lie. Anyone who knows Castillo knows that he has no family or friends in Mexico. He barely speaks any Spanish at all. Then Young went on to say that if he didn't flee to Mexico, he would be killed by angry family members. The reporter quoted Young EXACTLY. As for Clara, he didn't make her out to be "something less." He portrayed her to be the grieving mother that she is. You people are so pathetic.

Observer
Observer

Not sure what you're talking about as far as any of that goes, and I bet you aren't too sure either.

1) "no threats of the sorts he is not foolish he was only sinply stating the obvouse about the other people that would like to see him snuffed"Young Jr. was quoted fully and accurately. But did you even stop to re-read what you wrote? "he was only sinply stating the obvouse about the other people that would like to see him snuffed." Yes -- he said that Armando Castillo would be murdered or flee to Mexico. That's what the reporter quoted him as saying.

2) "that reporter wasn't even suppose to be in the court room"Don't know what you're talking about, and neither do you.

3) 'the reporter took her speach and took it apart and made her out to be something less her self."Not at all sure what you're talking about -- she seems like a grieving mother where she is quoted, which is what she is.

4) "The judge didn't even care what the victims had to say he had already made up his mind that he was gonna let mondo out on a 50000 bond."In this sense he may or may not have much in common with you, who have made up your mind that "Mondo" is a murderer without reviewing the new scientific testimony.

Leigh-ann Childers
Leigh-ann Childers

 Ms. Yate stated nothing about his race she only expressed the pain mondo has put upon her and her family, and Mr. young was baligerant and not in exactly the best state of mind since the man that murdered his son was going to be released. how would you be acting if you had a sun murdered and his murder was being released. i know most people would be very hateful, blind, and make ill choices so don't you dare go judging them until you know them personally

Leigh-ann Childers
Leigh-ann Childers

Ms. Yate stated nothing about his race she only expressed the pain mondo has put upon her and her family, and Mr. young was baligerant and not in exactly the best state of mind since the man that murdered his son was going to be released. how would you be acting if you had a sun murdered and his murder was being released. i know most people would be very hateful, blind, and make ill choices so don't you dare go judging them until you know them personally

Georgia28
Georgia28

actually my sister never made any comments about his race nor did the rest of the family.mando was her boyfriend so how could my family be prejudice against hispanics

Truthinjustice
Truthinjustice

Its beyond idiotic. Steve Young thinks he is better and smarter than everyone else. His facade quickly crumbles as soon as he opens his mouth as was clearly demonstrated in court today. He made a threat on the record and in front of a judge and was clearly implying that "Hispanics" shouldn't be trusted because they will all flee to Mexico if charged with a crime. Mr. Castillo knows absolutely no one in Mexico. Gee if my ancestors came from a European country does that mean that I would flee there if charged with a crime? How absurd. Other than Native Americans, all of us have ancestors that came from somewhere else. So in Steven Young's eyes we would all be flight risks. He even admitted that he would flee if in the same situation. It shows his lack of character and integrity when he makes statements like these.It appears from papers filed with the court that there is quite a bit of evidence that clears Castillo. Its obvious from the remarks made by the judge that he is deeply disturbed by this case and the fact that none of this new evidence has been shared with the victim's family. The trial judge apparently feels the same way according to his rulings in Oct and that was a different judge than this one. So that's two judges that are disturbed by this case and I would think that its a very rare thing indeed to overturn a 13 year old conviction and go on the record numerous times about this man being innocent in light of this new evidence.

Georgia28ford
Georgia28ford

your a dumb ass...i was around steve for 15 hours a day for two years straight.i worked with him in very close circumstances in a restraunt

Georgia28ford
Georgia28ford

ricky doesnt have anything to do with the subject at all.it doesnt matter.i wish you gujys would use your real names.i dont give a fuck who sees my comments.but while your putting it all out there like that,i know you say the whole yates family is known for drug use i know the comments directed at me too....but let me tell u something,,i been clean for ten years and i have my own three br house....im not living in a house built by my fam ily and mando was using just as much drugs as the "yates" family...we were all doing it together.your very dispespectful in regaurds to your comments about the whole family.i dont talk about anyone.i love gabe like a brother.herman and his wife need to remember they have another son who needs their love and help too....

Georgia28ford
Georgia28ford

and my dad is deceased so u just showed how much class you got by talking about somebody who cant defend themself

Georgia28ford
Georgia28ford

and my dad is deceased so u just showed how much class you got by talking about somebody who cant defend themself

Georgia28ford
Georgia28ford

and my dad is deceased so u just showed how much class you got by talking about somebody who cant defend themself

Georgia28ford
Georgia28ford

and my dad is deceased so u just showed how much class you got by talking about somebody who cant defend themself

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