Paul Ray Castillo, the man found guilty of carjacking, robbing, kidnapping, and murdering Cindy Nguyen of Campbell, was sentenced to life in prison without parole today. Facing the victim’s family before his sentence was read, Castillo apologized for killing Nguyen and “taking her away” from them, prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney James Leonard said. Castillo, 34, was arrested in September of 2011 after going on a crime spree that also included shooting at a man at a Chevron gas station. After that shooting, police said Castillo fled the scene in a Nissan 300Z that was later found at The Plant shopping center at Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue, about a mile from the gas station.
It was there he carjacked Nguyen, 60, a real estate agent and popular Vietnamese radio show host. A colleague of Nguyen’s told police that Nguyen had called her assistant from the area on Friday afternoon to ask for help jumpstarting her car battery, but later called back to say that some people had come by to help her. That was the last time she was heard from. Castillo was spotted again six hours later near a condo complex near Mabury and North King roads. He tried to run over an officer, who fired several shots at Castillo. He crashed the car and ran away, evading a police search.
During the search police found Nguyen’s car and later found her body in a home in the 500 block of North 12th Street, a home that Castillo had ties to. Police searched for Castillo over the weekend, finally tracking him down and arresting him on the evening of Sept. 18 in West Sacramento. Castillo pleaded guilty to the charges against him earlier this month. Leonard said Castillo became tearful while listening to Nguyen’s sister and eldest daughter speak about how the murder had affected them. Castillo also honored the family’s request to know for religious reasons the time Nguyen had died. Castillo told them he had murdered her between 1:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 16, 2011, Leonard said.
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