Hanford hit and run suspect has first court appearance

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- The man accused of running from the scene of a deadly Christmas Day crash, stood before a Kings County judge Wednesday.

Cameras weren't allowed inside the Kings County Courthouse for Angel Castillo's first court appearance. He was already on probation, and is charged with involuntary manslaughter, hit and run resulting in death, and vehicular manslaughter. He entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment on Wednesday.

Authorities believe the 19-year-old was the driver of a car that ran a red light and slammed into a car on Christmas Day, killing the other driver, Raymond Romero Jr.

The crash also injured his fiancé Miranda Garza, their two boys, and Raymond's little cousin. His wife delivered a healthy baby girl hours after the crash.

Raymond's mother says her son spoke to his unborn daughter earlier that day.

"He talked to Miranda's stomach and kissed it," said Diana Nevarez. "So she heard his voice, you know. We'll be able to tell her all about him. He was looking forward to having a girl."

The crash happened as Romero and his family were driving home from a Christmas party in Corcoran.

Police say two men in the suspect vehicle ran from the scene, including Castillo, and a passenger, identified as Abraham Chavez.

Police still want to talk to Chavez, but say they do not plan to arrest him at this time.

Raymond's mother says she will attend all of Castillo's court dates. He faces a maximum of six years and eight months in prison if convicted.

"I'm going to fight for my son, to get justice, get justice for my grandkids, and for his wife," Nevarez said. "He was so loving, he was so important and he was taken away so young."

Romero was 32-- family members say his oldest son is still recovering from his injuries at the hospital. So is his little cousin, who just turned ten.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for his medical expenses.

There will be a fundraiser for the Romero family next Friday, January 12th.

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