Alonzo F. Castillo Jr. and Robert Conley III have been charged with assault and attempted murder in Saginaw. They are accused of using a golf club, a tire iron, and a gun to assault 43-year-old Salvador Gomez outside his home. Only a jury can decide if their intention was actually to kill him, which was the decision made by District Judge M. Randall Jurrens at their recent preliminary hearing.
According to Gomez’s testimony, he and his girlfriend, who is Castillo’s mother, were in the process of packing up her belongings. She had been evicted from the house and so he was going through and putting things in boxes all the while sharing a few drinks with friends and family that were there as well.
But in the early hours of the morning after everyone else had left and Gomez was alone, he said that Conley knocked on the door. Gomez says that he opened the screen door but left the security gate locked. Conley asked him to step outside so that they could talk, but Gomez refused and Conley left. Gomez later fell asleep on the couch.
Castillo stepped into view and hit Gomez on the head
It wasn’t long before Gomez was woken to the sound of tapping. Assuming that someone was at the front door again, he opened it but found the porch deserted. Curious about the source of the noise, Gomez unlocked the security gate and stepped out onto the porch. At that moment, Castillo, who had been hidden by the door, stepped into view and hit Gomez on the head.
Gomez said in his Saginaw District Court testimony that he was struck repeatedly both with a golf club and with a tire iron by Castillo. He says that he knew Castillo had a bad leg and so he tried to push him in an effort to unbalance him and make him fall. That plan didn’t work. The two men struggled and Castillo allegedly called for help.
Conley then reappeared, this time armed with a .357-caliber revolver, which Gomez said he recognized immediately because it is a “unique” gun carrying seven rounds instead of six. Although Castillo allegedly coaxed him into “taking Gomez out,” Conley apparently didn’t have it in him to kill Gomez. Once Gomez realized that Conley wasn’t going to kill him, he grabbed for the weapon and tried to change the firing angle hoping he could injure Conley with a stray bullet in the process.
In the end, the gun was fired twice, but no one got shot. Castillo and Conley fled the scene and Gomez called 911 from inside his house. He was ultimately hospitalized in Saginaw, MI with 11 wounds that needed a total of 84 staples in his head alone.
Castillo’s attorney asked the judge to dismiss the charges on the grounds that Gomez is not a credible witness. The reasons he provided are because Gomez was drunk at the time and because the porch light was dim and green, making correct identification of the assailant difficult. Conley’s attorney asked for a reduction of the charges, arguing that Conley had no intention to kill Gomez. But the judge refused both attorneys. He bound the case over to Saginaw Circuit Court. That means that both Castillo and Conley will have to face trial and a judge or jury will decide what their intentions were at the time of the alleged assault.
Both men are charged with felony counts of Assault with Intent to Commit Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon with Unlawful Intent, and three counts of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony. Castillo is facing the second-offense version of the felony firearm charge, which carries a mandatory, consecutive prison sentence of five years as a result of a 2004 armed home invasion he was convicted of, where two young girls were held at gunpoint.
You can read more about assaultive crimes in Michigan at www.thecleanteam.xyz