Former BISD Trustee Erasmo Castro appeared in court Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to a DWI charge stemming from an incident in early September.
The charge is a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. On Thursday, Castro was convicted on his guilty plea and sentenced to six months in jail with the sentence suspended, according to court records.
The records also indicated that Castro was placed on community supervision for 12 months and ordered to pay a $550 fine.
Cameron County Court-at-Law No. 1. Judge Arturo A. McDonald, Jr. said he doesn’t like to place defendants in community service and opted to require Castro to attend DWI classes and a victim impact panel, according to the case file.
Additionally, Castro will be required to attend drug/alcohol counseling and submit to random drug/alcohol screening for a period of four months, the record stated.
Castro’s attorney Angela P. Nix told the court that there was a mistake in the police report indicating that Castro had been at Pokey’s Planet prior to the traffic accident that led to his arrest.
Nix said her client was actually at a different establishment. She argued that Castro still wishes to run for public office and that he hopes to work as a substitute teacher.
Castro resigned from his position on the Brownsville Independent School District school board on Jan. 10, writing in a Facebook post, “Thank you for being patient with me. I pray that in the near future you will once again place your trust in me with the upcoming elections before us,” he wrote. “I still love most of you dearly.”
According to the police report, Castro was found sitting in the back seat of a Fiat with damage to the driver’s side and a flat tire on Sept. 2, 2019.
The report stated that Castro told the officer he was not involved in an accident, but rather his car had stalled on the side of the road, and that he was coming from Pokey’s Planet where he “had consumed only one glass of wine.”
Additionally, Nix asked McDonald to consider placing Castro in deferred adjudication, partially based on a previous offense in 1992 for which he was placed in the program.
An attorney for the state opposed that request, stating that Castro did not complete the program and had additional prior offenses. The attorney argued that since Castro’s DWI charge involved a vehicle crash, the state would not offer the program.
The judge declined Nix’s request for deferred adjudication and opted for a six-month probated sentence. “You know how it works. If you blow it, I put you in jail,” the judge said.
“Everybody makes mistakes and you move on,” McDonald added.