CASTILLO, Desmond Karl

Desmond Karl Castillo

Birth: September 26, 2017
Death: January 2, 2018


Desmond Karl Castillo, infant son of Karla Watkins and Rolando Castillo Jr., went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. He was 3 months old. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 5, 2018 in the chapel of Sorrells Funeral Home & Crematory in Slocomb with Rev. Tommy White officiating. Burial will follow in the New Hinson Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continuing until service time. Desmond was preceded in death by his grandfather, Randy Watkins; great-grandfathers: Ed Hunter and Carl Watkins; and an aunt, Jennifer Castillo. Survivors include his mother, Karla Watkins; his father, Rolando Castillo Jr.; sister, Olivia Castillo; maternal grandmother, Karen Nolen (David); paternal grandparents, Rolando Sr. and Norma Castillo; great grandmothers: Carolyn Taylor and Eloise Hunter; several aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family.

Source: View Obituary on Sorrells Funeral Home

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Criminal Details
Ken Curtis – Aug. 21, 2019 at 5:51 PM CDT

Man charged with killing infant son plans “insanity” defense

A Dothan father facing murder charges plans to plead not guilty by reason of mental defect. That clears the way for Rolando Castillo to undergo mental evaluation, court documents reveal.

It also means defense attorneys could abandon a possible strategy to implicate Castillo’s wife in the death of their three month old baby.

Desmond Castillo died from blunt force trauma in January 2018.

Dothan police first believed an accident killed him.

However, forensics results revealed he suffered brain damage, a detached retina, and other injuries.

That’s when police charged 31-year old Rolando Castillo, claiming he was the last person with the boy before he died.

Defense attorneys indicated they might shift blame to Castillo’s wife, Karla Watkins Castillo.

During a preliminary hearing, they produced a social media post indicating she suffered from postpartum depression and feared hurting her son.

With Castillo’s plan to use his mental condition as a defense, it’s not known if those attorneys will attempt to implicate her.

Police claim they found no evidence of Karla Castillo’s involvement.

Castillo’s trial is set for April 2020.

Prosecutors say, if he is convicted, they will seek the death penalty.

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Criminal Details
Staff Reportgs – April 26, 2018 at 3:16 PM CDT – Updated August 14 at 3:05 AM

Father facing capital murder after death of infant son

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) – A father is now charged with capital murder in the death of his 3-month-old son.

Police arrested 30-year-old, Rolando Castillo, Jr. of Slocomb for the death of Desmond Castillo.

According to police, officers responded to a call Jan. 2 to a home on Coral Lane in Dothan to reports of a child not breathing. The child was taken to Flowers Hospital, but efforts to revive the child were unsuccessful.

Police say investigators received an autopsy report this week for the infant. A forensic pathologist ruled Desmond’s death a homicide and noted signs of blunt force trauma to the head and internal injuries, “Those injuries were undetectable at the time the child was examined both on the scene by law enforcement and emergency personnel and at the hospital,” said Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish.

Police say after re-interviewing the parents, they found enough evidence to arrest Rolando Castillo and they are not ruling out more charges or more arrests, “My heart goes out to the family members and extended family who have been very concerned and contacted us numerous times about this case,” said Parrish.

Castillo is charged with capital murder because of the victim’s age. According to Alabama law, victims under the age of 14 make the crime an automatic capital offense.

Castillo is held with no bond.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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Criminal Details
Ken Curtis – Apr. 28, 2018 at 8:22 AM CDT

Wife, family disagree over accused baby killer’s guilt

The wife of a man charged with murdering their infant son claims he is innocent. “I don’t know who did it but I know he didn’t,” Karla Castillo told WTVY.

Others, though, believe Rolando Castillo, Junior is a cold-blooded killer.

Three-month-old Desmond Castillo suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull and detached retina, according to autopsy results. He was found unresponsive by paramedics when they arrived at the Castillo’s home January 2. Karla said she called 911.

Castillo was arrested Wednesday, one day after police received the forensic findings, and charged with Capital Murder.

However, one or more family members repeatedly told investigators the past few months Rolando Castillo killed his son. “(They were) concerned and contacted us several times,” Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish said.

While police awaited autopsy results, a rift developed between Karla and her mother. Court records reveal one week after Desmond’s death a protection order was sought against Karla. Her mom alleged Karla might be threatening her life through social media posts.

However, Houston County District Judge Benjamin Lewis dismissed the case, ruling there was no basis to issue a protection order.

Karla and Rolando were evicted from their Dothan home, owned by Karla’s mom and stepfather. They relocated to Slocomb and married a few weeks later.

Karla isn’t the only one who believes Rolando is innocent. His father, Rolando, Sr., told WTVY his son, who has a daughter from a previous relationship, would never hurt a child.

Dothan attorneys Derek Yarbrough and Shaun McGhee will represent Castillo, Jr. who is held in the Houston County Jail without bond.

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