A last minute change in the Nigel Green murder trial this morning.
He didn’t go on trial afterall.
Instead, he pled guilty to murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison as part of a plea deal. He also waived his right to an appeal.
His victim’s parents were shocked and angry.
Today was supposed to be jury selection in Nigel Green’s murder trial.
He’s accused of killing his girlfriend Carina Castellanos in June 2016.
But within minutes this morning, the case took a stunning turn, which shocked Castellanos’ parents.
“And then all of a sudden they go up there. There’s been a plea deal. Do you accept ? We heard yes,” Milo Castellanos, Carina’s dad, told reporters.
Milo and Robin Castellanos said they had been adamant with prosecutors, and Judge Jack Pulcher, all along, they did not want a plea deal for Green.
They wanted him to go on trial and spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“Mr. Green, at this time, I’m going to find you guilty of murder,” announced Judge Pulcher. “I’m going to sentence you to 40 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”
Once out of the courtroom, the parents spoke out.
“We feel betrayed. Judge Pulcher is not a man of his word. And he is dishonorable. I hope the citizens of Corpus remember this deception on election day,” Robin Castellanos said.
The victim’s parents said their daughter Carina, who would have celebrated her 29th birthday Wednesday, October 10th, dated Green for 4 years.
But was too terrified to even notify police of the abuse she endured from him.
Her mother ecalled a conversation.
“Mom, I can’t go to the police. If I go to the police, he’ll kill me. He’s told me so many times he’ll kill me.”
But in early June 2016, she finally did tell police, who found her in a convenience store, hiding from Green.
Police body cam video of that encounter, was shown in court Tuesday, for the first time.
“What happened ma’am?
My boyfriend just tried to kill me,” Carina told the officer.
2 weeks later, she was dead.
Prosecutor Joe Mike Pena told us he was not happy with the plea deal, but felt it guaranteed the maximum punishment for Green.
“I don’t think it was worth the gamble of going to a jury and getting a verdict of less than 40 years. I think we’d have gotten a conviction, I just can’t tell you it would be capital, or murder, or even a shot at a manslaughter charge.”
Mrs Castellanos responded “Joe Mike Pena was worried that that might show it might be crime of passion, ’cause that’s what the prosecution was alluding to. And this was not a crime of passion.”
For the Castellanos’, this was a bitter end to a parents’ worse nightmare.
Their oldest daughter’s life brought to a tragic end far to soon.
“We will never get the opportunity to see ger ever again. Nigel’s mom gets to go visit him at the Texas Department of Corrections whenever she wants,” Mr. Castellanos shared..
Prosecutor Joe Mike Pena tells us the Castellanos’ knew about the offer of a 40 year plea deal in exchange for a guilty plea from Green, as far back as a year ago.
they wanted a 50 year sentence.
But this morning, Judge Jack Pulcher accepted the guilty plea and 40 year sentence.