A Brownsville man showed no remorse Thursday afternoon when a jury sentenced him to 45 years in prison for a 2009 murder.
When visiting state District Judge Robert C. Pate asked Randall Bolivar’s attorney Rebecca Rubane if there was any reason the sentence shouldn’t be imposed, she said no and then Bolivar spoke up.
“Yes, your honor. I was denied my constitutional rights by the state,” Bolivar told Pate, who ignored him and continued with the proceedings.
Bolivar was convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting Aaron Castillo, 31, on Feb. 2, 2009, on the 200 block of Garden Street over a $500 drug debt Aaron Castillo’s brother, Augustine, owed.
The 45-year sentence will stack on top of a 15-year sentence Bolivar already is serving for a second-degree felony marijuana possession conviction out of Kleberg County.
Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman asked Pate to stack the sentences rather than have them run concurrent because Bolivar killed Aaron Castillo while he was serving five years of probation on the drug case. That probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Jesus Rios, Aaron Castillo’s eldest uncle, called Bolivar a cold-blooded killer who deserves to stay behind bars because he is a danger to society.
“We are happy he got the punishment and he’s a cold-blooded killer and people like that do not deserve to be out in public,” Rios said outside the 107th state District Court in Brownsville after the sentencing. “Hopefully this sends a message that we will not be tolerating that kind of activity here in Cameron County and South Texas.”
According to Rios, more than one person died because of Bolivar. His sister and Aaron Castillo’s mother, Ana Maria Castillo, died from a broken heart, he said.
“I lost my sister. She died of a broken heart and other complications because of that,” Rios said.
He said his family wanted to thank the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office for taking over the case when District Attorney Luis V. Saenz took office in 2013.
Rios said the previous administration didn’t handle the case right and nearly five years was too long for it to drag out, denying his sister a chance to see justice.
Jessica Castillo-Lozoya testified during the sentencing phase that Aaron Castillo was one year away from earning a business management degree at the University of Texas at Brownsville and was working part-time at Rack Daddy’s when he was killed.
“I was extremely close to him. We were together every day,” she said.
Castillo-Lozoya said her brother was the best uncle in the world, who doted on two of her three children.
“He never met the baby,” she said, breaking into tears.
But his death hit her mother the hardest, she said.
“Because of this I felt like I lost two people,” Castillo-Lozoya said. “It was the worst thing that can happen to a mother.”
She said she visited Aaron Castillo’s grave every day with her mother until her mom got too sick to go.
“It really took her life,” she said.
Defense attorneys asked the jury to sentence Bolivar to eight years in prison, double the sentence of Rolando Garza, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after reaching a plea deal for his testimony. He served four years in prison and was released in 2013.
Gilman asked the jury to sentence Bolivar to 99 years in prison.
Bolivar’s mother, Mary Rey, testified on her son’s behalf, saying he was a good child and that he changed after serving in the military. Bolivar. He served in South Korea and at Fort Hood, Texas, and was honorably discharged in 2003.
Rey said she thought an improper relationship her son had with a Brownsville high school teacher had a devastating impact on him.
The jury took more than five hours to agree on a sentence and took less than two hours to convict Bolivar, who waved to family members as he was led out of the courtroom Thursday.