Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 
 

David Allen CASTILLO

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 14, 1983
Date of birth: August 11, 1964
Victim profile: Clarencio Champion, 59 (cashier at the Party House Liquor Store)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on September 23, 1998
 
 

 

Date of Execution:
August 23, 1998
Offender:
David Castillo #770
Last Statement:
Keep it brief here. Just want to say, uh, family, take care of yourselves. Uh, look at this as a learning experience. Everything happens for a reason. We all know what really happened, but there are some things you just can’t fight. Little people always seem to get squashed. It happens. Even so, just got to take the good with the bad. There is no man that is free from all evil, nor any man that is so evil to be worth nothing. But it’s all part of life, and my family, take care of yourselves. Tell my wife I love her. I’ll keep an eye on everybody, especially my nieces and nephews. I’m pretty good. I love ya’ll. Take care. I’m ready.

 

David Allen Castillo

In a lengthy final statement, Castillo maintained the innocence he had claimed since his trial.

"We all know what really happened, but there are some things you just can't fight. Little people always seem to get squashed," he said. "It's all part of life."

Castillo also nodded and smiled to his father and 4 brothers who watched through glass a few feet away.

"Tell my wife I love her and I'll keep an eye on everybody," he said. "I love y'all. Take care. I'm ready."

As the injection was administrated, Castillo's family members yelled obscenities and 1 brother pounded on the witness-room glass.

Castillo had insisted a friend of a cousin killed Clarencio Champion on July 14, 1983, and then fled to Mexico. The 59-year-old operator of the Party House Liquor Store in Mercedes was closing up for the night when prosecutors said Castillo walked in armed with a long knife and demanded his cash.

Champion, robbed of an undetermined amount of money, died a week later of wounds to the chest, abdomen and face.

When Castillo was charged with Champion's death, he already was in prison, serving an 8-year sentence for a similar robbery where the victim survived.

"These were innocent people, hardworking people," Rene Guerra, the Hidalgo County district attorney who prosecuted Castillo, said of the victims. "They complied with every wish. There was no reason for him to do them in."

Guerra described Castillo, who was 19 when he was arrested, as cocky.

"He was one of those young punks who thinks the world is going to revolve around him," Guerra said. "He's never going to change. He'd kill you in a minute, and that's the fear."

Investigators linked Castillo to the crime when an athletic shoe's distinctive footprint discovered at the bloody scene matched a print at the earlier robbery. A description of the assailant from the other robbery victim also matched Castillo, and detectives found evidence related to the Champion killing at the home where Castillo had been staying.

It took a jury about 45 minutes to decide on his guilt and 30 minutes to vote for the death sentence. Guerra said there was "no iota of doubt" Castillo was the killer.

But in an interview last week, Castillo said: "You got the wrong guy. I hope you're satisfied."

Castillo was born in Chicago and grew up in Toledo and Defiance, Ohio. After he quit school in the 10th grade, he worked in New Mexico in the Job Corps but was expelled. At age 18 he moved to Texas, where his father lived, as part of a plea bargain in an Ohio assault case.

"I would have preferred a firing squad because they stand you up," Castillo said. "I just don't like a belt on my chest."

Sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin

 
 

David Allen Castillo

Condemned killer David Allen Castillo was convicted in the July 14, 1983, stabbing death of Clarencio Champion, a cashier at the Party House Liquor Store in Mercedes.

Castillo confronted Champion and demanded the store's cash. When Champion resisted, Castillo attacked him with a knife. Clarencio staggered to the road outside his store and flagged down a passing car whose driver happened to be a police dispatcher. He described his assailant and police tried to stop the bleeding from his extensive stab wounds.

He was cut deeply in the right arm, damaging an artery, another wound completely crossed the left side of his face, he had two stab wounds to his abdomen, and one to his throat. After several operations, Clarencio died of septic shock caused by his abdominal wounds.

 
 

David Castillo

Executed 9/23/98

Clarencio Champion was stabbed in a robbery of the Party House Liquor Store on North Texas Avenue in Mercedes, Tex. The injuries were not fatal, however, and he was recovering in the hospital, when, a week after the stabbing, he suddenly developed an infection and a high fever, and died.

It turned out that during surgery, a nine-inch clamp had been left in Mr. Champion's stomach; Mr. Champion's widow eventually sued the doctor and the hospital for malpractice.

But under Texas law, the person who set the events in motion that led to Mr. Champion's death could be prosecuted for capital murder, and that helped convict David Castillo, an 18-year-old high school dropout from Illinois, who had drifted down to South Texas. During Mr. Castillo's trial, the doctor testified that the leaving of the clamp inside Mr. Champion had been for the best because, he said, it prompted him to go back in and clean the wound.

There was no direct evidence linking Mr. Castillo to the crime.

About an hour after the robbery, Mr. Castillo appeared at a friend's home and washed his hands at an outside faucet. The police tested it for blood. "It could not be determined whether the blood was human or not," the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said.

Mr. Castillo, who had pleaded guilty to another robbery-stabbing committed a month before the Party House crime, lacked the means for a strong defense. The state gave him $500 for an investigator. The trial court turned down Mr. Castillo's lawyer's request for an additional $600. The court ruled that there was no legal obligation to provide Mr. Castillo with the additional money.

Rob Owen, a death penalty appellate lawyer with the Austin firm Schonemann, Roundtree & Owen, said that an adequate investigation would have required $5,000 to $10,000.

Mr. Sutton, Governor Bush's criminal adviser, said it was difficult to know what it would have cost for a good investigation 17 years ago. He added, "We do everything we can to put up enough money to represent these guys."

A critical witness against Mr. Castillo was Pedro Garcia, who was himself a suspect because he had worked across the street from the liquor store and knew Mr. Champion's pattern of going to and from the bank with money.

At the time of the crime, Mr. Castillo was living with Mr. Garcia and his family in a public housing complex. Mr. Garcia testified that when Mr. Castillo came home late on the night of the robbery, his first words as he came though the door were, "I did it." Mr. Castillo did not explain what it was he had done.

The police searched Mr. Garcia's two-bedroom apartment. They found nothing. But the next day, his wife, Lucinda, found a bloody T-shirt and two money bags in a closet, and called the police.

The jurors took only 45 minutes to find Mr. Castillo guilty. They might not have been so sure if Mr. Castillo's lawyers had found Pedro Garcia's uncle, Oscar Garcia.

In a recent interview in his modest home in Mercedes, Oscar Garcia said things that might have led jurors to question Pedro Garcia's credibility. There was deep hatred, Mr. Garcia said, between the Garcia and Castillo families.

Lucinda Garcia, 39, talked about the case in the four-room house in Mercedes where she is raising four of her children.

"David, he never, ever admitted to it," she said. "To this day, I wouldn't be sure he did it."

At the punishment phase of Mr. Castillo's trial, his sister and brother wanted to testify. But they could not afford to travel to Texas from their homes in the Midwest. And Mr. Castillo's lawyers did not ask the court for money to help them make the trip. Mitigating witnesses are essential if a jury is to be persuaded not to give a convicted murderer the death sentence.

The character witnesses who did take the stand were not adequately prepared.

"Neither one of the lawyers told us what they were going to ask us, or what kinds of things they wanted us to say," David Castillo's father, Juan Castillo Sr., said in an affidavit filed as part of his son's unsuccessful state habeas petition. "I think I must have done more harm than good because I didn't know what to say."

It took the jury half an hour to vote the death sentence for Mr. Castillo, a sentence that Mr. Sutton, the Bush adviser, said was fair and supported by the case record.

 
 

David Castillo was living with Pedro Garcia and Lucinda Garcia, his first cousin and cousin’s wife in Mercedes, Tex. during the month of July 1983, due to ongoing troubles with his father.

Pedro Garcia had worked for Clarence Champion, the victim, for six or eight weekends and his employment ended sometime in July 1982.  Their relationship was good, Garcia said.

At the hospital after the robbery of the Party House Liquor Store, Champion gave his wife and a detective a brief description of his assailant.  Champion’s wife said he told her the man spoke broken Spanish and kept saying “Damos los dineros. I am going to kill you.”  Champion’s wife also said he told her that he had never seen the assailant before.

The detective said Champion told him the same about the broken Spanish and that the assailant said “Dame el dinero, dame dinero, o te mato” and the deceased told the detective he had seen the assailant possibly once before, but that he was not sure.

Another detective that arrived on the seen recalled that the victim first said “they” robbed me and then said “he” robbed me.

Champion died on July 20.  After the autopsy, doctors confirmed he had died as a result of the stab wounds inflicted during the robbery. He had received a total of five stab wounds: two in the abdomen, one in the throat, one across his face and one to the arm.  A reward of $4,100 was then offered for information leading to the indictment of the killer.

The routine for Champion was to close the liquor store at 9 p.m., go home, then pick up bank bags containing money, receipts and checks from the Conoco service station at about 10:15 p.m. then take the bags to the liquor store.  When he arrived at the closed liquor store after he picked up the bank bags, he was assaulted.

Police Chief Robert Nunley said the investigators were called off the case early on July 15 due to a need for traffic control due to flooding because of thunderstorms in the area.

Officer Jorge Castillo mentioned Castillo’s name the night of the offense to another detective.  The detective learned Castillo was living with the Garcia’s and obtained permission to search Castillo’s room at the Garcia’s home on August 2.  With permission from the Garcia’s, the room was searched on August 7, but nothing was recovered.

On August 8, nearly a month after the crime, Lucinda Garcia called the detective to report the discovery of bank bags and a bloodstained T-shirt in a hall closet. 

Pedro Garcia recalled that the night of July 14 Castillo had come home about 11:15 and his first words as he walked in the door were “I did it.”  Sometime after July 14, Castillo gave Pedro Garcia $200 in cash.

Castillo was arrested on July 25 for a similar offense committed on June 26. He was arrested for the murder and robbery committed on July 14 while serving an eight-year sentence.

After at least six different execution dates, Castillo was put to death by lethal injection on Aug. 23, 1998, 15 years after committing the crime.

 
 

Texas execute inmate

September 24, 1998

(CNN) -- A man who slashed to death a cashier at a liquor store during a 1983 robbery was executed by lethal injection Wednesday in Texas.

Later Wednesday, a convicted murderer was executed in the electric chair at a Virginia prison for shooting his estranged wife and son to death in 1991.

In Texas, David Castillo's execution was the 14th this year in Texas, where a record 37 condemned prisoners received lethal injection in 1997.

Castillo, 34, had insisted a friend of a cousin killed Clarencio Champion on July 14, 1983, and then fled to Mexico. The 59-year-old operator of the Party House Liquor Store in Mercedes, Texas, was closing up for the night when prosecutors said Castillo walked in armed with a long knife and demanded his cash.

In a final statement while strapped to the gurney in the death chamber at state prison, Castillo told his family members to "look at this as a learning experience" and proclaimed his innocence in the stabbing death of Clarencio Champion, 59.

"We all know what really happened, but there are some things you just can't fight. Little people always seem to get squashed," said Castillo.

"There is no man that is free from all evil nor any man so evil as to be worth nothing," he said, nodding and smiling at his family before dying.

Champion, robbed of an undetermined amount of money, died a week after the robbery of wounds to the chest, abdomen and face.

When Castillo was charged with Champion's death, he already was in prison, serving an eight-year sentence for a similar robbery where the victim survived.

Investigators linked Castillo to the crime when an athletic shoe's distinctive footprint discovered at the bloody scene matched a print at the earlier robbery.

A description of the assailant from the other robbery victim also matched Castillo, and detectives found evidence related to the Champion killing at the home where Castillo had been staying.

 
 


David Allen Castillo

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact