Boy Charged as Adult in Murder of Child

November 5th, 2009 by

(AOL Nov. 4) – A 14-year-old suspect in the murder of a 4-year-old boy found drowned and then stuffed into a clothes dryer in Mendota, California, has been charged as an adult, authorities said Tuesday.
Fresno County, California, District Attorney Elizabeth A. Egan said Raul Renato Castro was charged with special circumstances, including murder during a child molestation, sodomy, kidnapping and murder of a witness to prevent testimony.
Castro faces separate felony charges of kidnapping, sodomy and child molestation, Egan said.
Under California law, a 14-year-old is not eligible for the death penalty or a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, according to a statement from Egan’s office. If found guilty, the boy could receive no more than 32 years to life plus 15 years.
The incident began Friday afternoon, when Alex Christopher Mercato’s parents discovered that the child, who had been playing outside their house, was missing, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told reporters Monday.

The parents called police, who began to search the neighborhood and nearby parks in Mendota, 33 miles west of Fresno, she said. Soon, the FBI was called in.
On Saturday, authorities resumed the search door-to-door. They did not have to go far. In the house next door to the Mercatos, authorities discovered the boy’s body stuffed inside a dryer in a closet, Mims said. An autopsy determined he had drowned.
The teenager, who had been the only member of his family who was at home on Friday afternoon, was arrested and booked into the juvenile justice center, Mims said.
Castro is the sole suspect in the case, she said. He is to be arraigned Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court.

2 Responses

  1. Bobby Plunkett

    I don’t care if this kid is 14 or younger. What he did was not right. That kid had no right of killing him. If he wants to be an adult, he should be able to take the punishment like an adult. To me it doesn’t matter how the kid is. He’ll start on this and just keep doing and for the rest of his life he’ll be in prison. Why should he be able to live even though he took someone elses life ?? I say kill him like he killed that other kid

  2. johnny d

    Well believe it or not i’m not going to say anything negative about this one except I really feel bad for the parents, they’ve lost two children. Very sad indeed.

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