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West LA Crime Report

Man Charged With Murder Of 18-Year-Old In Santa Monica

A 42-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death in Santa Monica earlier this year of an 18-year-old found with a single gunshot wound to the head, authorities announced today.

The Victim Was A SAMO High Grad

Juan Sebastian Castillo who played football at Santa Monica High School
and graduated last year, was found just after 5 a.m. on Feb. 26, lying on the
ground in the 1300 block of 16th Street, near the UCLA Santa Monica Medical
Center, police said.

Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, according to Santa Monica
police Lt. Saul Rodriguez.

Santa Monica Police Link Death To Earlier Shooting

“Through extensive and thorough investigative efforts, detectives have
been able to link Juan Castillo’s death to a shooting that occurred earlier
that morning about 12:45 a.m. in the 2100 block of Pico Boulevard and the
identification of a possible suspect,” Rodriguez said.

The Pico Boulevard location is about a mile away from where Castillo was
found.

The Suspect Has Been Arrested And Charged

The suspect, identified as Sherwin Mendoza Espinosa of Los Angeles, was
arrested Wednesday morning, according to sheriff’s inmate records.

He was charged today by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s
Office with one count of murder and two counts of being a felon in possession
of a loaded firearm.

The Suspect Appeared In Court Today

Espinosa appeared today at the Airport Courthouse, where his arraignment
was continued to June 5, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which
reported that he remains in custody with bail set at $3 million.

No Motive Established

No motive for the killing has been established, but investigators
continue to work that angle of the case, according to Rodriguez, who said the
suspect and victim had no known prior relationship.

Police Ask Public For Information

Castillo’s grieving father still wears his son’s varsity jacket,
Rodriguez said.

Anyone with information about the killing was urged to call the
detectives investigating the case at (310) 458-8478 or (310) 458-8949. Santa
Monica police also can be reached at (310) 458-8478.
Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800)
222-TIPS.

City News Service.
Photo by: Jinga

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Man Charged With Murder Of 18-Year-Old In Santa Monica
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Man Charged With Murder Of 18-Year-Old In Santa Monica
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A 42-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death in Santa Monica earlier this year of an 18-year-old found with a single gunshot wound to the head, authorities announced today.
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