Family hoping for closure as trial for a man accused of killing Merced cab driver moves forward

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A murder case will move forward as a jury is now in place to decide the fate of a suspect accused of killing a Merced cab driver in his car. (KFSN)

A murder case will move forward as a jury is now in place to decide the fate of a suspect accused of killing a Merced cab driver in his car.

Joseph Castrillo is charged with murder for allegedly shooting Dean Barker several times. He was in court on Wednesday listening as attorneys prepare to go to trial.

Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse said, "It's time for us to move forward on this and we're prepared to do so."

Court documents claim Castrillo and another suspect named Dante Woods killed Dean after calling him for a ride. Dean was on the job when the suspect allegedly shot him at least three times.

Reports show Woods took a plea deal last year and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In an interview with police, Woods admits that Castrillo hit Dean on the side of his face with a pistol shortly before he said Castrillo shot him, and ran.

Barker's son, Michael Barker, said, "I'm kinda glad this is going to be over-- two- and a half years is a long time to wait for this. Me, and as well as my other family members are hoping this is over and done with soon."

Michael said he plans to go to the trial hoping to finally get some closure. Despite the time that has passed he said the constant nightmares of the tragedy remind him of the father he lost.

"I saw one of the cabs going past and I wasn't thinking, and I took off after it-- I thought it was him."

Attorneys said the trial will start on Friday, and is expected to go into late next week.

One of the attorney's did tell us that Woods is expected to testify during the trial.

Attorneys will give their opening statements Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Related Topics:
murdershootingmerced countycourt caseMerced
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