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Press Release

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Voluntary Manslaughter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Silvester Castillo was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Castillo, 38, of Albuquerque, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on July 6, 2023.

According to publicly available court records, on May 31, 2021, officers from the Navajo Nation Police Department responded to a residence in Torreon, New Mexico in reference to a homicide. Officers found Jane Doe in the front yard lying face up with her sweatpants around her ankles and obvious blunt force trauma to her head, face, and body. She was located near a Buick sedan that was still running and had sustained heavy damage to the rear bumper. Castillo was located inside of the residence with blood on his hands, pants, and shoes. Jane Doe’s 4-year-old daughter told law enforcement that her mommy was dead, and that Castillo told her to hide the shovel. During a forensic interview, Jane Doe’s daughter disclosed that she saw Castillo hit Jane Doe with a shovel, remove her clothes, and then run over her face with a car. Castillo then told her not to tell. Castillo’s grandmother also witnessed the incident but waited until daylight to walk to the neighbor’s house for help.

Castillo denied any involvement in Jane Doe’s death. He claimed that she brought him alcohol against his wishes and told him she was a “Skinwalker.” He also claimed that she poisoned him, causing him to lose consciousness. Lastly, Castillo claimed self-defense, stating that Jane Doe had bit his shoulder, cut his hand, and burned his arm. Agents were unable to locate any injuries on Castillo other than an older burn scar.

According to OMI, Jane Doe’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, the manner of death was homicide. Jane Doe suffered significant scalp wounds, including tears and a subarachnoid hemorrhage, with head and facial injuries consistent with a car wheel driving over it. She also had several broken ribs and a lung injury.

Upon his release from prison, Castillo will be subject to three years of supervised release.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with the assistance of the Navajo Police Department and Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy Trembly and Caitlin Dillon are prosecuting the case.

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Updated February 13, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-69