Carlos Alberto Amarillo, 48, was sentenced in the 2014 murders of his live-in girlfriend, Estrella Castaneda, 56, and her daughter, Lina Castaneda, 25. The defendant killed both women with a claw hammer with an unidentified 7-year-old girl in the next room, who was left unharmed. The suspect claimed Estrella and daughter were “witches.” According to People, Amarillo was finally sentenced.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown confirmed that on January 29, 2014, Amarillo used a hammer to murder Estrella and Lina because they were “witches.” After the crime, he dialed 911 and confessed. According to the statement, he claimed he “assassinated” the Castaneda women and wanted police to kill him. When authorities arrived at the residence, Carlos was waiting for them with a Bible in his hands.
Later, Amarillo told police that Estrella and Lina were casting “voodoo spells,” which caused him to get sick.
The Huffington Post reported that both of the women suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Both were declared dead when authorities arrived.
In June, a jury found Carlos Amarillo guilty. The convictions include two counts of first-degree murder, one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
In a statement, Brown expressed his thoughts on the juror’s decision.
“This defendant will rightfully spend the rest of his natural life behind bars for fatally beating to death his girlfriend and her daughter — who was the mother of a young child who also happened to be in the residence that night but fortunately was not harmed.”
When the murders happened, next door neighbor Jorge Carrion said his wife heard the commotion. While she could hear banging on the walls, she didn’t hear anyone screaming.
Another neighbor, Debbie Marrero recalls the 7-year-old being carried out of the house alive. She is quoted as saying the rage coming from Amarillo must have been unbelievable. However, she is thankful the 7-year-old was not killed or injured.
According to police, there was no history of any reports of domestic violence. Neighbors said the family was very quiet, so the murders come as a complete shock. Marrero said for something like that to happen in such a peaceful neighborhood is “quite scary.”
Carlos Alberto Amarillo received two life sentences. People reached out to Amarillo’s attorney for a comment, but they have not received a response. It is not clear if Carlos plans to file an appeal or not.