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SJ Ex-Con’s Alleged Crime Spree Began Week Before Talk Show Host Murder

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The week before a San Jose ex-con allegedly shot a Willow Glen gas station attendant and then kidnapped and murdered Vietnamese talk show host Cindy Nguyen, he committed several other violent robberies, according to court documents.

Prosecutors outlined a crime spree that began when Paul Ray Castillo allegedly stole a car on Sept. 6. Then on Sept. 13, he allegedly burglarized a vehicle, almost running over its owner in the process. Castillo is also accused of taking a man’s wallet, phone and jewelry in an armed robbery the next day.

In all, Castillo faces eight felony charges for the series of crimes prolonged, police said, by the help of a pot club owner and its manager, who helped the 33-year-old hide out after Nguyen’s murder.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Police say 36-year-old Juan de la Cerda and 43-year-old Diana Figueroa of San Jose helped Castillo evade capture until his arrest Sunday in West Sacramento.

De la Cerda has been arrested, but Figueroa remains at large.

Castillo has two prior felony convictions and could face the death penalty for his crimes.

Prosecutors have charged Castillo with murder, kidnapping in the commission of a carjacking, attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and causing bodily injury on a peace officer or firefighter, robbery with use of a firearm, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and unauthorized use or theft of a vehicle.

Castillo sobbed uncontrollably during a brief arraignment on Wednesday and remains on suicide watch. He was due back in court Oct. 5 to enter a plea.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Matt Bigler
  • Kodiax

    i can only wonder if Juan and Diana knew what they were getting into when they helped Paul.
    Paul seems a wreck now, I can only wonder what demons drove him to crack like he did.
    sad day all around. my thoughts go out to the injured and deceased. and for Juan too. i met him a couple times and always thought him a straight shooter. I really liked the Treehouse and will miss it bigtime.

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