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Texas Road-Rage Shooter Gets 30 Years

State

Legislation and law. Judge's gavel. | Image by Prilutskiy, Shutterstock

A 2021 road rage shooting case in Houston has reached its conclusion.

On Tuesday, Gerald Williams pleaded guilty to killing 17-year-old David Castro in a July 2021 road rage shooting. Williams is now set to serve 30 years in prison after reaching a deal with prosecutors that Castro’s family endorsed, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

David Castro was making a family trip to an Astros game when his father, Paul Castro, and Williams got into a heated argument in Minute Maid Park traffic about who bumped who. 

The father recalled the event in the courtroom. After letting three cars go ahead of him, he did not afford Williams the same courtesy, leading him to try to cut in when the cars bumped. 

“You started yelling at me,” Castro said, addressing the suspect. “Stupidly, I started yelling back.” 

Williams alerted a police officer directing traffic, and she let him go ahead of Castro.

“You won,” Castro said.

Yet things were not over for Williams, who allegedly continued to drive behind Castro, honking his horn and flashing his lights. Then gunfire ensued. 

“I turned to David, for some reason he was sleeping,” Castro said, explaining that he then on the interior lights of the car and started screaming his son’s name. His son had been shot in the back of the head.

The shooting led to weeks of uncertainty about who fired the shots, with the father calling on residents to identify the shooter. Williams turned himself in after weeks, bonded out of jail for $350,000, and remained free until the plea hearing.

This led the elder Castro to condemn Harris County for its bail decisions for those accused of violent crimes. This was especially true after finding that Williams was able to secure his freedom through a bonding company that was no longer allowed to write bonds in Harris County after facing federal and local scrutiny, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.

This is a subject reported on frequently by The Dallas Express and one that has drawn much criticism in the wake of several violent crimes involving paroles committed in Dallas, such as the high-profile shooting at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center in October allegedly perpetrated by Nestor Hernandez, on parole at the time for aggravated robbery. 

Castro became further incensed upon learning that Williams had been released from jail no more than a year before the road rage incident after serving time for aggravated robbery.

“I have no security around my safety, my child’s safety, his mom’s safety,” said Castro. “He wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He had a gun. He was a felon.”

Over a year after the incident, as Castro sat in court, he said he wished Williams had shot him instead, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

“He had work to do in this world and you stole that,” Castro said. “There’s a world that should have existed and it’s gone.” 

Williams’ lawyer said the defendant accepted responsibility for the boy’s death by taking the plea agreement. 

“I know he’s very sorry for the death of David Castro,” lawyer Casey Keirnan said. 

Prosecutors viewed the plea, which came as both sides were prepared to pick a jury later this week, as “measured justice,” according to the Houston Chronicle. 

Keirnan said both sides would be risking it all if it went to trial. While it could have meant a harsher sentence for Williams, he also could have walked free if jurors expressed doubt. Evidence surrounding the identity of the shooter was an issue, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

“Under the circumstance and the state of the evidence and under the totality of the circumstances, we achieved justice in this case, in my view,” said David Mitcham, the first assistant for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

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alan
alan
6 days ago

I see we don’t have a photo of Mr. Williams or the victim. These photos can be found on line, so you can’t hide what is going on here. Why can’t certain members of society have manners? The victims had manners, the criminal did not and felt entitled to impose on thre victim’s goodwill. Death penalty was warranted, this is a killing in cold blood and a hate crime to boot. Now the taxpayer has to provide 3 hots and a cot, so the criminal can watch tv and sit on his but.