Suspect to be tried as adult in teen shooting
Julio Cesar Castro
The 16-year-old charged in the shooting death of another teen will stand trial as an adult.
Julio Cesar Castro is charged in the January murder of 17-year-old Mark Brandon Dominguez. Police say Dominguez and his two brothers left their South Austin home in the early morning hours to investigate noises outside their home. Authorities say the boys believed someone was breaking into a car.
While outside, Dominguez encountered the suspect, Castro, and was shot.
Castro was on probation for a pair of drug arrests at the time of crime. In the last year, he was subjected to 28 drug tests, failing 27 of them for marijuana. Police records showed Castro is a documented Sureños 13 gang member, but the teenager denies any involvement.
Testimony during Castro’s certification hearing last month claimed he made violent threats against his peers and detention staff after his arrest.
Castro's attorney, Jon Evans, said April 26 that placing any teen in the adult criminal justice system is an injustice.
"I think it's pretty well documented the adult system offers nothing as far as rehabilitation treatment is concerned," Evans said.
Last month, a psychiatrist recommended Castro be tried as an adult because of his risk for future violence.