Former relative of a man accused of murdering Merced taxi driver takes the stand

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Tuesday, the suspect's former stepmother, Destini Alcaraz, took the stand telling the court Castrillo told her he shot Barker. (KFSN)

Joseph Castrillo is facing murder charges after allegedly shooting Merced cab driver Dean Barker back in 2015. Tuesday, the suspect's former stepmother, Destini Alcaraz, took the stand telling the court Castrillo told her he shot Barker.

Prosecutors claim Castrillo and another suspect, Dante Woods, called Barker's cab company for a ride. Once Barker arrived at their location, Castrillo then allegedly pulled out a gun and shot him three times.

Woods testified that both he and Castrillo ran to Alcaraz's apartment after the shooting, and spent the night.

Prosecutors questioned Alcaraz, asking her a series of questions about what Castrillo told her that night.

"Did he tell you he hit the taxi driver in the head with a gun," asked Prosecutor Katie Gates.

They also asked if Alcaraz knew they planned to jump out of the taxi and not pay the driver, and if he admitted to her about being the shooter-- she answered yes to all of those questions.

However, the defense fired back asking her if Castrillo was bragging about the shooting at first, to which she said "no."

Alcaraz also could not confirm that spots on the suspect's jeans were actually blood. The witness did admit to both attorneys that she did not call the police, and says she was in disbelief when he told her about the shooting.

The case now moves forward as attorneys say the trial is expected to last the rest of the week.

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