Bexar County delays execution because of Hurricane Harvey

Updated: Aug. 30, 2017 at 2:03 PM CDT
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A man sentenced to death in San Antonio and facing execution next week had his death delayed due to Hurricane Harvey.

The execution of 36-year-old Juan Castillo was scheduled for next Thursday, but a Bexar County judge issued an order Wednesday delaying the man's death for three months because some of his defense team works in the Houston area, which has been devastated by flooding from the storm. The request to move the execution didn't come from the defense but from the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. 

"A portion of Mr. Castillo's defense team resides and works in Harris County and the surrounding areas, and has been affected by Hurricane Harvey," wrote Bexar County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Matthew Howard in the motion. "...Under the extraordinary circumstances, the State would move to withdraw the execution date and seek a new date."

Castillo's new execution date is now set for Dec. 14, granting him an extra three months of life in his prison cell, where he has lived almost 12 years. 

In 2005, Castillo was convicted in the 2003 robbery and murder of Tommy Garcia, Jr. in San Antonio, according to court records. Prosecutors said Castillo and three others planned to rob Garcia after luring him to a secluded area with the promise of sex with one of the women involved in the plan. But when Garcia tried to run, Castillo shot him, according to the accomplices.

There have been five executions in Texas this year. The next one is scheduled for Robert Pruett on Oct. 12.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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