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HomeNewsArchivesAttorney General Confirms Charges Against Castillo, Says Victim Knew Him

Attorney General Confirms Charges Against Castillo, Says Victim Knew Him

April 14, 2007 — Attorney General Vincent Frazer Saturday morning cleared up questions regarding the charges brought Friday against Daniel Castillo in the murder of Laquina Hennis.
Statements from multiple officials in court and in a press conference Friday raised questions about whether or not Castillo had been formally charged.
At the same time an advice-of-rights hearing took place Friday in the courtroom of V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar, Frazer — along with Gov. John deJongh Jr. and Police Commissioner James McCall — held a press conference on the killing of the 12-year-old girl.
At the conference, Frazer said, "This is an active investigation; and I must stress, it is ongoing. As we work through it, there are a lot of things about this case that we will not be able to discuss with the public. We ask for the public to bear with us."
Frazer was able to reveal that the victim knew her attacker.
"Mr. Castillo was not a stranger to the Hennis family," Frazer said. "He was someone who was known. So we need to consider the people with whom our children interact. We need to pay careful attention, even to those who are known within our families, friends and associates."
At the same time, Cpl. Roselyn Bedminster of the major crimes unit told the courtroom that Castillo had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Hennis' death.
A report against Castillo called a "criminal information" will be filed next week by the Department of Justice, Frazer said. "It is a technicality," he said. "Until the information is filed, the arresting charges hold him over until the formal charges by the DOJ. It simply means that is the basis on which we are holding him over."
The probable-cause fact sheet, quoted in Friday's Source story, "is not a charging document," Frazer said. He added, "It is used to provide the court with the fact that establishes reason to hold him over for formal charges. When someone is arrested for commission of a crime, he has to be taken before the court within 24 hours, where it is determined whether we have the right to continue holding him."
Frazer could not say which judge will preside at the April 19 court proceeding. "There is a rotation of judges for arraignments," he said. "I don't know who will be the judge on Thursday."
Castillo also has a case pending against him from an earlier arrest. On March 1, he was arrested and charged in an aggravated assault-and-battery case. In court Friday, Hollar said Castillo was released in that case "on his own recognizance." She did not name the judge who released him.
It was V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall. The judge has made decisions in the past that have been seriously questioned by the public, women's advocacy groups and the media.
"The public records show that Judge Kendall released Castillo on his own recognizance," Frazer said Saturday. He added, "It was done with a number of conditions set by the judge, including he not violate any laws, have no contact with the victim of his crime, report to the probation office and remain employed. There were several other conditions, and he violated them."
Police documents show Castillo worked as a pump-truck operator for BCCI Concrete.
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April 14, 2007 -- Attorney General Vincent Frazer Saturday morning cleared up questions regarding the charges brought Friday against Daniel Castillo in the murder of Laquina Hennis.
Statements from multiple officials in court and in a press conference Friday raised questions about whether or not Castillo had been formally charged.
At the same time an advice-of-rights hearing took place Friday in the courtroom of V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar, Frazer -- along with Gov. John deJongh Jr. and Police Commissioner James McCall -- held a press conference on the killing of the 12-year-old girl.
At the conference, Frazer said, "This is an active investigation; and I must stress, it is ongoing. As we work through it, there are a lot of things about this case that we will not be able to discuss with the public. We ask for the public to bear with us."
Frazer was able to reveal that the victim knew her attacker.
"Mr. Castillo was not a stranger to the Hennis family," Frazer said. "He was someone who was known. So we need to consider the people with whom our children interact. We need to pay careful attention, even to those who are known within our families, friends and associates."
At the same time, Cpl. Roselyn Bedminster of the major crimes unit told the courtroom that Castillo had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Hennis' death.
A report against Castillo called a "criminal information" will be filed next week by the Department of Justice, Frazer said. "It is a technicality," he said. "Until the information is filed, the arresting charges hold him over until the formal charges by the DOJ. It simply means that is the basis on which we are holding him over."
The probable-cause fact sheet, quoted in Friday's Source story, "is not a charging document," Frazer said. He added, "It is used to provide the court with the fact that establishes reason to hold him over for formal charges. When someone is arrested for commission of a crime, he has to be taken before the court within 24 hours, where it is determined whether we have the right to continue holding him."
Frazer could not say which judge will preside at the April 19 court proceeding. "There is a rotation of judges for arraignments," he said. "I don't know who will be the judge on Thursday."
Castillo also has a case pending against him from an earlier arrest. On March 1, he was arrested and charged in an aggravated assault-and-battery case. In court Friday, Hollar said Castillo was released in that case "on his own recognizance." She did not name the judge who released him.
It was V.I. Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall. The judge has made decisions in the past that have been seriously questioned by the public, women's advocacy groups and the media.
"The public records show that Judge Kendall released Castillo on his own recognizance," Frazer said Saturday. He added, "It was done with a number of conditions set by the judge, including he not violate any laws, have no contact with the victim of his crime, report to the probation office and remain employed. There were several other conditions, and he violated them."
Police documents show Castillo worked as a pump-truck operator for BCCI Concrete.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.