Attorneys describe moments before Merced taxi driver's murder in court

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Attorneys projected graphic video and images of the taxi driver they claim was brutally killed by Joseph Castrillo in 2015. (KFSN)

Attorneys projected graphic video and images of the taxi driver they claim was brutally killed by Joseph Castrillo.

Castrillo is on trial for allegedly killing shooting Dean Barker back in 2015. Prosecuting attorney's claim Castrillo and another suspect named Dante Woods called for a cab.

After repeatedly asking the two suspects if they had money for the ride, Barker pulled the car into a parking lot at a Merced apartment complex. Shortly, after parking, attorneys claim Castrillo pulled out a gun and shot Barker multiple times.

"All three shots, exploding into Dean Barker's head at close range, ladies and gentleman," an attorney said. "Barker never stood a chance."

Body camera footage from the officers who responded was played for the jury. One who testified stated that he knew Barker was dead the minute he saw him in the car.

A witness who lived in the apartment complex also testified claiming to have seen two men running from the cab after shots were fired.

Woods, the other passenger in the cab, also took the stand. Prosecutors asked him to recall what happened that night. He confessed and said that he and Castrillo planned to go drink, but that Castrillo asked to go to the apartments instead.

With just $5 in his pocket that night, he stated he had enough to pay the cab but then told prospectors that Castrillo hit and shot the driver within seconds.

Defense attorneys question Wood's claim, he told the jury from the start that Woods had never been in a cab and his story was inconsistent.

"Dante claims that he thought $5 was enough for a ride, but he said he'd never been in one, so how does he know?" an attorney said.

Related Topics:
homicide investigationcourtmerced countyMerced
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