San Juan man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter charge faces revocation

Freedom at risk less than 10 months after court grants probation in shooting death case

EDINBURG — A man who was convicted of accidentally shooting and killing his friend could be sent to prison after allegedly violating the terms of his probation, court records show.

Isaiah Victor Castillo was before state District Judge Roberto “Bobby” Flores on Thursday for a scheduled motion to revoke hearing after he was arrested in connection with a robbery earlier this year in August — violating a condition of his deferred conviction.

Flores, who granted a motion to have the hearing reset for two weeks from Thursday, advised Castillo if the Court grants the state’s motion to revoke his probation, he could face between two and six years in prison.

The state filed the motion to revoke the man’s probation Aug. 29, more than three weeks after Castillo was picked up on one count of burglary of a vehicle, records show.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 6, San Juan Police arrested Castillo in connection with a burglary of vehicle charge after a woman reported her vehicle had been broken into without her consent.

Castillo was booked into Hidalgo County jail on a Class A misdemeanor on Aug. 7, records show.

In addition to the Class A charge, the state claimed Castillo has failed to pay court-related fines totaling more than $1,100, failed drug tests in June, July and August of this year, failed to complete the 240 hours of community service he was obligated to complete, and failed to attend drug and alcohol education classes assigned to him, the motion to revoke states.

Castillo, 18, had been on probation since he pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge Oct. 15, 2018, related to a June 2018 incident in which Castillo, 17 years old at the time, pulled the trigger on a .22 caliber rifle, striking his friend, Fidel Flores, in the chest.

Flores

The incident took place on the evening of June 13, 2018, in the 3300 block of North 25 ½ Street in McAllen.

Castillo, during an interview with police, originally stated the rifle went off when he dropped it — but changed his story and said he and Flores were playing with guns when, thinking the safety was on, slightly pulled the trigger resulting in the round being fired into Flores’ chest.

Flores, originally of Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico, and who had just celebrated his birthday, less than a week before, on June 7, died en route to the hospital. He was 18 years old.

In an effort to avoid a trial, Castillo, during a plea hearing last October, pleaded true to the manslaughter charge.

The Court accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Castillo to six years deferred probation — with more than 120 days of time served credit, records show.

Castillo will remain in custody pending the Oct. 17 hearing, at which time the court could decide to revoke his probation and send him to serve a maximum six-year prison term.

lzazueta@themonitor.com