Julio Castillo on trial

Remember Julio Castillo? The Peoria Cheifs pitcher who threw a ball into the stands and set off a brawl in Dayton last year? Well, his trial started today:

In opening statements during the trial of Julio Castillo, assistant Montgomery County prosecutor Jon Marshall said the evidence will show that Castillo, 22, of the Dominican Republic, committed felonious assault.

“He decided he was going to hurt someone, anyone,” Marshall said. “He had in his hand a hard dense object, a baseball. He decided to hurl that baseball, that object, with great force . . .”

. . . Marshall said Chris McCarthy was sitting in the stands with his wife and young son when the ball hurled by Castillo hit him.

“The ball struck him square in the temple,” Marshall said. “He didn’t have time to react. The stitching of the ball the defendant threw was imprinted on Chris’ head.”

Oooh, sounds damning. Of course, you can’t make up your mind simply after hearing the prosecution’s opening statement. The defense gets a turn too!

Defense attorney Dennis Lieberman said that as tensions between the two teams escalated, Castillo threw the ball at the Dayton dugout to keep Dragons’ players from rushing the field.

“He throws it at the dugout — at the fencing in front of the dugout — to hit an inanimate object to scare them away,” Lieberman said. “He does it because he can’t talk. He can’t speak English. … He wasn’t throwing it at an individual.”

Um, yeah. You really goin’ with “trying to scare them away” as a case theory, Dennis? Hey, it’s your trial. Far be it from me to criticize a fellow Shyster.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go bake Castllo a cake with a file in it, because this trial ain’t gonna last long.

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  1. David said...

    If it’s assault to angrily throw a ball into the stands, then doesn’t it stand to reason that to hurl a bat into the stands counts as gross negligence and/or reckless endangerment?

    And all that happened was that some dude had the imprint of stiches on his forehead?  Man, I was think there was going to be an ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ incident. 

    God, our government sure has a hell of a lot of spare time on their hands, don’t they?  What a loser prosecutor.

  2. The Common Man said...

    Got to be honest, Craig, I don’t know that I see a real good defense here either way.  I assume there is video or at least multiple witnesses who saw him throw the ball with probable malice.  I’ve gotta think this was a short trial either way.  Best to plead guilty and throw yourself on the mercy of the court.

    I disagree with David (big surpise), I think that players assaulting fans is entirely worth prosecuting (regardless of the outcome of the assault).  Fans can’t cross the line onto the field, and players shouldn’t be able to cross the line into the stands.

    I think hurling a bat would count as endangerment.  A splintering bat into the stands, however, would presumably be covered under “you pays your money, you takes your chances.”

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    TCM: totally agree. I’m not sure how this one gets to a jury in the first place.  You have to plead this one out if you’re the defense, so the fact that he’s talking to a jury at all means he screwed up.

    Or it’s possible that the prosecution simply won’t deal at all for political reasons. That doesn’t happen too often, though.  If it did, however, the defense should probably think about emphasizing the heat-of-the-moment aspect of it and play up sympathy for the sentencing phase.  As it is, they’re trying to thread the needle by saying “yeah, he threw the ball with intent, but not to hit anyone.”  Eh.  How about “he just kind of freaked and didn’t think what he was doing.”

  4. Aaron Moreno said...

    I don’t know, Craig. I take the bar next week in CA, and according to my criminal materials, if he gets on the stand and says he didn’t mean it, they can’t convict him.

    The bar wouldn’t lie, would it?

  5. Jason B said...

    Remember the ol’ Kids in the Hall bit where Dave Foley baked a cake with a saw in it to bust Kevin McDonald out of jail?  And the warden made him serve pieces until there was just the outline of a saw left…

    …and then after the gig was up, come to find out Kevin was being paroled the next day.

    God I miss funny television.

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