A 38-year-old man in California will spend several years behind bars for beating and severely injuring his wife in an attack that two of his children captured on cellphone video as one of them tried to protect her mother, shielding her with her hands.
Yuba County Superior Court Judge Julia L. Scrogin on Monday handed down the maximum penalty of four years in a state correctional facility to Miguel Lazaro-Castillo, authorities said.
Lazaro-Castillo, from New York, pleaded no contest in October to one count of felony domestic violence, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of misdemeanor child abuse.
According to a news release from the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office, deputies with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office responded to an emergency call at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 9 concerning an individual suspected of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse at a home in the 4200 block of Larson Street in Olivehurst, about 35 miles north of Sacramento, California.
Authorities said the 911 call was placed by one of Lazaro-Castillo’s children. The sheriff’s office did not release the names of the children or the wife.
“When deputies arrived six minutes later, they located Lazaro-Castillo’s wife lying facedown on the floor, surrounded by bloody napkins,” the office wrote in the release. “Lazaro-Castillo was sitting on top of her, and their three minor children, ages 15, 14, and 9, were also present.”
When questioned by investigators, Lazaro-Castillo initially said he hadn’t struck his wife and “had no idea where all the blood came from,” deputies said. But Lazaro-Castillo’s 9-year-old child recorded the alleged beating on a cellphone, authorities said.
“The video lasted over six minutes and showed Lazaro-Castillo repeatedly hitting his wife in the head and face. One of the children tried to protect her mother, shielding her with her hands,” prosecutors wrote. “Lazaro-Castillo slapped the child on the leg and continued assaulting his wife. Lazaro-Castillo turned his wife onto her stomach and forced her face down into the carpet for an extended amount of time.”
Lazaro-Castillo, his wife, and one of the children were intoxicated when deputies responded, prosecutors said. His wife was taken to the hospital for treatment, while all three children were placed into protective custody.
Lazaro-Castillo was taken to the Yuba County Jail. Prosecutors noted that despite Lazaro-Castillo having no prior criminal record, the court gave him the maximum sentence on the felony domestic violence charge “based on the brutality of his actions and his utter disregard for his children.”