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1996 murder revisited, Colorado Supreme Court ruling changes sentence

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — The Las Vegas Sun, in a Oct. 16, 1996 edition, reported the finding of Shaun Castillo’s body on the Colorado side of the Raton Pass three days after his murder on Oct. 1, along with the arrest of the last two suspects in the case: Larry Lucas, 16, and Michael Cantrell, 17.

Lucas and Cantrell along with Glenn Davis said Daniel Martin Hansen, 22, Robert Scott Davis, 18, and a 17-year-old girl, were charged with the first-degree murder of Mr. Castillo, 18, of Trinidad, and sentenced to life in prison without parole in Las Animas County Court in 1996.

Since then things have changed with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring it unconstitutional to sentence a minor, such as Lucas and Cantrell to life in prison without parole.

On Wednesday Nov. 1, 2017, Larry Lucas, returned to the courtroom to face resentencing in the case, as an adult, in compliance with the high court’s ruling.

The hearing was emotional for both sides as the DA, Henry Solano, put together a picture of Shaun Castillo’s life in pictures, letters, and remembrances from family members and friends.

The picture that was drawn highlighted the deep sense of loss still experienced by Shaun’s mother and father and close relatives who spoke of a young man who was very much loved and was expressive of his love for his family as he prepared himself for adulthood.

Lucas’s life was the opposite. Born in Kentucky he faced an abusive family life that was aggravated by a learning disability. His mother at one point brought her family to Colorado Springs where Lucas put together a plan to go to California to meet up with an aunt who would then by him a bus ticket so he could return to Kentucky.

He ended up abandoned by his mother and found himself in a juvenile facility where the abuse intensified above that of his home life. That is where he fell in with Cantrell and the others.

Lucas left Colorado Springs came down to Trinidad where the group ran into Shaun Castillo who was working at the Dairy Queen.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that authorities believe Shaun Castillo was killed a short time after he left his job at the Dairy Queen on Oct. 1.

Robert Scott Davis who has since confessed to the murder, drowned him. Lucas was the driver.

Keeping in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling, Judge Claude Appel sentenced Lucas, now an adult, to 46 years in prison without parole.

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