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Defendant testifies in Tadmore Park fatal shooting case
Saul  Castillo
Saul Castillo

Saul Castillo took the stand as the last witness in his trial regarding a Father’s Day 2013 shooting after a soccer game.

Castillo is charged with malice murder for allegedly shooting and killing Silverio Acosta, of Gainesville, after a June 16, 2013, soccer game at Tadmore Park.

Castillo was questioned by defense attorney Larry Duttweiler and Chief Assistant District Attorney Wanda Vance before the end of evidence Wednesday afternoon.

Vance questioned Castillo about his comment to officers about how he “thought (Acosta) had a weapon” and alleged conversations about what would be said or represented in court.

“Do you remember having a phone call in March of 2017 where you told the person you’re calling that they should say Silverio always had a gun and was always carrying a gun?” Vance asked.

Through an interpreter, Castillo said he did not have conversations with family and friends about what to say in court.

Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin allowed Castillo to withdraw his guilty plea in July 2016 after his attorney was able to retrieve New York medical records.

According to Gosselin’s order, Castillo argued the records would demonstrate a history of mental illness that “could have led a jury to find him insane at the time of the murder.”

Defense attorney Duttweiler on Tuesday and Assistant District Attorney Kelley Robertson at a 2015 hearing both said Castillo claimed his father was killed by Acosta almost 35 years ago using a machete.

Claudia Acosta, the victim’s daughter, testified on Tuesday about Castillo running toward her father and shooting at him. According to court documents, Silverio Acosta died from multiple gunshots to the head and torso.

Castillo was stopped by Hall County marshals working as security.

The case will continue at 9:30 a.m. Thursday with closing arguments and jury instructions.

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