Court denies motion to revoke San Juan man’s bond in manslaughter case

A man who was convicted of accidentally shooting and killing his friend will avoid being sent to prison after a judge denied the state’s motion to have his bond revoked, court records show.

Isaiah Victor Castillo was before state District Judge Roberto “Bobby” Flores on Thursday for a hearing on a motion to revoke. The hearing came after Castillo was arrested in connection with a robbery in August, violating a condition of his deferred conviction.

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, who was 17 at the time, pulled the trigger on a .22 caliber rifle, striking his friend, Fidel Flores, in the chest.

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 — he 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 18th birthday less than a week before, died en route to the hospital.

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.

But less than a year since that deferred conviction, the state filed the motion to revoke Castillo’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 claims that Castillo had failed to pay court-related fines totalling 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 read.

During the hearing Thursday, and despite Castillo pleading true to violating the terms of his probation, the court denied the state’s motion to have Castillo’s probation revoked and allowed him to remain on community supervised release.

The court ordered an additional two years be added to Castillo’s community supervision, the document states.